I'm currently undertaking my PhD and I have plans to get married before I complete my candidature. In particular, I will be double-barreling my current surname with my fiancée's current surname. We are indifferent to which name will appear first, and/or hyphenation. I have not begun publishing yet, however, I do have a first-authorship on a conference paper from my undergrad, though it is not likely this will contribute towards my PhD.
The core questions I have are:
- How should I identify myself on publications produced before I am married (still >12 months away)?
My goal is to achieve consistency despite my decision to change my surname. My current thoughts so far:
- Use my birth surname before marriage (First Birth), and initial my fiancée's birth surname before my own on post-marriage publications. (First F. Birth). In this case, I'll likely continue to be referenced by my birth name (e.g. Birth et al).
- Continue to just use my birth name in publications, even after I change my surname. This seems like the lazy option: the option which is most convenient/appropriate at present but will become more inconvenient in the future as I continue to publish. I do have female collaborators in this situation, though they had more publications with their birth name before their name change.
A third option would be to simply change my name before I get married, and use that name on all publications. But, officially changing my name doesn't happen overnight, and I'd like to be prepared should I have to put my name on a publication before my name is officially changed.
- This is a lesser concern, but I'd still like to consider: In academia, what are the implications of:
- a hyphenated surname?
- a double-barrelled, non-hyphenated surname?
I appreciate any thoughts and contributions. If it matters, I'm in STEM, and my surname is already quite unique, ~30,000 according to . My fiancée's is ~300,000.