I have a question. I am a master's student and I worked on several projects while I was working on my master's project. Those were beyond assistantship duties. I helped in every step of implementing the sensors in the field for one year. I collected the data for them. They are not putting my name on it. For another project, I helped analyze the data and a lot of field works for two years. They haven't finished the project yet but I guess I will not get the authorship. Do I have a right to ask for co-authorship knowing the professor is not willing to provide it?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you have the right to ask, but you may or may not have the right of authorship. If the intellectual content, the ideas, come from others, and you work at their direction then acknowledgment is appropriate, but probably not authorship.

But if you know that the professor is unwilling to provide it, I wonder whether you help or hurt yourself by even asking. It might be worth it in a clear case, but not so much in a marginal one.

Authorship is about the ideas, the intellectual content, not about the "effort".

  • Just wanted to add: we work with various sensors all the time and even have a couple of engineering teams for that; just deploying off-the-shelf solutions surely does not constitute "ideas/intellectual content", even when some difficulties are encountered. But it is usually reasonable to recognize a student who say took a RPi and wrote some code for it as a proper coauthor. This depends on the OP's situation, of course. "Helped analyze the data" is an even bigger deal, long as this help was a cut above a data entry job.
    – Lodinn
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:05

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