I am an undergrad student in a certain field. However, I am also interested in another, very different one in which I would like to submit a research paper to a journal.

Which affiliation should I put? That of my university even if the education I receive there is not related to the article?

At the moment I have indicated "Student in [irrelevant field] at the university [my university]".

  • 1
    Why mention the field at all? "University of the Inner Solar System (student)".
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 11:51
  • I think that would be a bit dishonest and would give the impression that I follow a course of study close to the subject being dealt with
    – user125488
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 11:53
  • 1
    As a professor I would only list my university as affiliation, not the department in which I worked. The paper will stand on its own. The affiliation is to help people find you and to aid disambiguation about people with the same name.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 11:58
  • I didn't see affiliation like that, thank you for the advice. If you make an answer out of it I will accept it directly. Thank you again.
    – user125488
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 12:01
  • 2
    @Buffy In the journals I read everybody lists their department, even if it's an irrelevant one. Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


This is an alternate answer to that of Anonymous Physicist, with which I also agree. Especially their last paragraph.

But, since affiliation is mostly to help people find the author and to aid disambiguation of people with the same name, the university is enough for your affiliation, without need to list the department.

So "University of the Inner Solar System (student)" should be fine.

But if you need to list the department for some reason, just be honest. People will understand.

But the most important point is that the paper will/must stand on its own independent of who wrote it or their affiliation.

  • 1
    I've never seen an affiliation that indicated rank such as "(student)" Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 12:15

For an undergraduate student, the affiliation is usually the same as the affiliation of your supervisor. If you are unsure, ask them.

If you are writing the paper independently, typically the affiliation is in the format:

Department, University Name, Address

At some universities, undergraduates do not have a department, in which case that might be omitted.

It is perfectly fine if your affiliation is unrelated to your paper topic.

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