I received an email:

I write this letter on behalf of authors seeking to co-publish. We have seen your previous works and they were considered to be of high quality. Therefore, I offer you a co-publishing partnership. Our clients wish to buy positions in scientific articles that are in line with their research interests. As our partner, you can offer us a position or two in your work.

How should I respond to this request to bribe me? Is it permitted to sell coauthorships?

  • 8
    Your email client probably has a "Junk" folder. It is useful for such things. Or, if it comes from a university domain, forwarding it to some authority there might be fun. Or, you could write some nonsense paper and create an untraceable alter-ego as author and offer.... , well, no, probably not.
    – Buffy
    Oct 20, 2020 at 10:56
  • Meta discussion about this question: academia.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4812/20058 Oct 20, 2020 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Never accept a payment for coauthorship. A payment for coauthorship would be an unethical bribe.

Never add a coauthor to a publication who has not met the criteria for authorship that is accepted in your field of research. Falsely listing a coauthor is fraud and unethical.

If you receive an offer like this by email, delete it without responding. Do not send your financial information to strangers on the internet. Presume the email is part of an advance fee fraud scheme.


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