My field is applied mathematics, and I regularly hire short term undergraduate students as research assistants to work on various projects.

Most students, for a variety of reasons, cannot make any substantial contributions, yet most of them end up making a tiny but nonzero amount of contribution. Since the main subject is mathematics, it is usually difficult to quantify/describe the contributions. E.g., a student notice some patterns in some numerical simulation, which, years later, leads to a theorem. Or a student run some numerical computations, and eliminated some hypothesis.

What is the standard way of giving credit to such student making epsilon amount of contributions?

  • 1
    Reward epsilon contributions with a delta amount of money? Or maybe the reverse? :)
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


If students contribute but do not meet the authorship criteria for your field of research, acknowledge their contributions in your paper.

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