I want to hire someone to do partial research writing for me, particularly the introduction section. I will do the rest of the work. All the practical work is completed. This is non-graded work. It's not related to university or college work. It is just an independent work. I want to know if this is ethical. Should I add the writer as a co-author for this minor contribution?

  • But ... why would you want to do this? Jul 1, 2021 at 0:51
  • i just want someone to roughly do it, as I am working on the rest of paper, I will inline the introduction with that. it is just a workshop paper and I am suffering from severe allergy, so I think if I can get a helping hand to submit it on time Jul 1, 2021 at 6:01

2 Answers 2


The introduction of your paper situates your work in the broader literature. In your introduction you make intentional decisions about which works to highlight as influencing the rest of the paper, and frame what you've done in a broader context of the field you are writing in. It isn't minor, it's a key part of a whole paper.

I don't see a practical way to "farm" this out to anyone else. To have someone else write a good introduction for you would take way more effort than it would to write yourself, regardless of language challenges.

It's fine to hire someone to do copy editing; an introduction of a paper is not copy editing and isn't minor. If your work is worth considering by someone else, it's worth writing a proper introduction for. Do it yourself.

  • 1
    Is it silly and/or stupid? Sure, but unethical? Not really. We're all paid money to write introductions, eventually. Jun 30, 2021 at 4:19
  • 1
    @AzorAhai-him- Yeah, this is one where I'll stand by my frame challenge. It's silly/stupid enough to have someone else write your intro that if you do it you're either wasting your money, publishing a bad paper, or both, so I don't see much value in questioning the authorship issue. There's no good time to do it, so don't.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 30, 2021 at 4:26

It's ethical if you give the contract writer due credit for their contribution; it's unethical if you don't give them due credit. How much credit is "due credit" depends on the policies of the journal to which you submit. If it's a journal that has adopted the ICMJE authorship guidelines verbatim, then you shouldn't add them as a co-author, but you should mention their name and what they contributed in the acknowledgements.

But as @BryanKrause points out, even in the case where it is ethical, it may not be a good idea.

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