I am a Ph.D. student. Currently, we are writing a paper. We can group the participants in the following way:
- Me and my collaborators who have done the majority of the work.
- My principal supervisor who helped me to access the lab.
- The person, let's call him Glideroy :-) , who is the subject of this question.
Glideroy has not made any substantial contribution. To be precise, he wrote one piece of code, which eventually was not used in the paper. Later we asked him for further investigation, which he didn't do.
One of our co-authors expressed his reluctance to include the non-contributing co-author's name in the paper. According to him, the decision is in the hand of the authors who have made a substantial contribution. My principal advisor is not aware of this yet, but he has a good relationship with Gilderoy.
Now I am in a tricky position, I agree with the non-contributing part. However, I feel a bit hesitant to burn the bridge and remove the author altogether. So, my questions are the following:
- What are the criteria one should fulfill to be a co-author?
- Should I talk to my principal supervisor?
- Is there any way we can justify the inclusion of Glideroy's name?
Any advice would be helpful.