Since I graduated from law school almost ten years ago, I have been working as a fellow for a law professor at a US law school. In that time, I have drafted over 25 articles and book chapters, but only been listed as a co-author on 8. I don't begrudge this split: The Prof has the established name and, in every instance, she has sat me down, outlined what she wants to cover, and then made comments and requested revisions on every draft I produce, but I have always done 90% or more of the actual writing. I greatly appreciate the confidence she has shown in my writing abilities and am just not sure how to convey this on my CV/job applications. My position is ending and I'm applying for new jobs that, in many cases, are looking for expertise in areas on which I've researched and written extensively, just not under my name. Is there any accepted way/format to mention publications one has drafted/contributed to without receiving formal authorship credit?

2 Answers 2


What you are describing is actually ethical misconduct. If you were the primary drafter of an article, then you should have been listed as an author on those papers; the fact that you have not is inexcusable on the part of the professor. In the scientific world, such a revelation coming to light would be sufficient grounds for retraction of the articles in question.

So right now, the problem is that if you try to claim ownership, you may be creating a lot of problems. I don't know what the right solution is, but you should definitely talk with someone at your law school such as an ombudsperson before talking to your advisor. The last thing you need right now is having a former advisor who can "spike" letters of recommendation.


TED, I agree with aeismail is an ethical misconduct, but it is difficult to judge your professor: even you wrote the paper, it depends from your contract; eg if you were payed as "ghost writer" or "technical professionist" or "translator" and you didn't partecipate to research or discussion, you can not expect too much. I do not think it's your case ....

Anyway: yes I have seen in some cv a sentence like

"I participated in the works and project a, b, c as a technician expert and/or reviewer "

  • 1
    He was a fellow, which would make him a staff member, not a "hired hand." In the sciences, it would be like a research professor or post-doc.
    – aeismail
    Jan 8, 2014 at 21:14

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