If I write a paper, and another person provides a computer program that visualizes the idea, where should I mention the roles of the authors? Is the "acknowledgements" section appropriate for this? Or it is considered a bad tone to delineate the contributions of the co-authors?

  • What does your co-author think?
    – Buffy
    Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 13:05

2 Answers 2


If the journal wants you to specify which co-authors contributed which parts of the work, then the journal's guidelines for authors will tell you that clearly, and give you instructions for where in the paper to do it. If the journal's guidelines don't say anything about it, then you don't need to specify which authors did what.


I suggest that you work this out with your co-author and write it up in a way you both agree to. For publication, an editor might have some suggestions, but it is up to them and the standards of that journal (or conference). Just write it the way you think it should be and submit it.

However, for co-authored papers, it isn't really necessary to detail the nature of the contributions of the authors. Let the paper stand on its own. Trying to detail it might give the impression that someone's contribution was more important than the other, when, in fact, they were just "different".

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