I am working on converting one of my projects to a research paper for a top-tier international conference. I am a bit confused about how people in the academic domain react to a conference paper with a single author,

Is it advisable to go for a paper with a single author or approach some professor in my university with an offer of guest authorship and present them as an academic/project guide in the paper?

  • 6
    The community reacts by reading them if they look interesting. I've never selected an article to read based on the number of authors.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 16, 2021 at 14:48
  • That's True @JonCuster, I just wanted to know if there're some disadvantages to showing such papers in applications for grad studies or for research internship applications. Nov 16, 2021 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I'm surprised that you ask, actually. It is perfectly fine to produce scholarly work alone. In many fields it is highly valued.

But, your suggestion of asking another to serve as co-author for some sort of "padding" would be improper if the other person hasn't contributed to the intellectual content of the paper. Guest authorship is misconduct in most fields, though it occurs.

Co-authors are people who work together in some way to contribute the intellectual content. It doesn't need to be "equal" in some way, but it should be clear. And adding someone after the work is done seems a clear violation.

Single authorship might be more rare in some fields, such as high-energy physics or pharmacology, but still, not a problem.

  • Is it single authorship valued in the field of Computer Science with particular emphasis on Artificial Intelligence? Nov 16, 2021 at 13:35
  • 2
    Yes, it is valued. Many of the advances in AI have been done by single authors. Especially in the early days, just as in mathematics. Collaborations have probably increased over time (internet makes it possible) and some techniques in CS require different skill sets.
    – Buffy
    Nov 16, 2021 at 13:39

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