A paper I worked on during my gap year between high school and college is getting published. All of the work that went towards this paper was made after finishing high school, and clearly before starting college. Also, this work was made under the supervision of a professor at a university different from the one I will be attending. However, I was never directly related to said university during this time.

Now, I have been accepted to a university and already committed to start my undergraduate studies there this fall. What should be my affiliation in this paper? Should I just go with “independent” or something similar to that?

  • 1
    Customs about affiliation are different in different fields. Ask your mentor. Jan 17, 2022 at 17:01
  • Follow your supervisor's advice. Jan 17, 2022 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


For purposes of the paper your affiliation is probably independent researcher. The university you are about to join provided no support for the paper nor would it acknowledge your relationship to them at the time. The professor's university would need to acknowledge you as being affiliated with them if you want to list them, but this seems unlikely. It would be different if you were enrolled there in an independent study or similar.

This assumes that the paper has been accepted for publication prior to your starting studies.

The situation is similar to myself, old and retired. If I work on a paper with a colleague from IBM and/or Northeastern University, can I claim affiliation with those institutions? How about both institutions? I'd guess they would object if asked. No, you, like myself, were an independent researcher. And I think there is a bit of prestige in that, actually.

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    This contradicts the question: "work was made under the supervision of a professor at a university..." That supervisor needs to be consulted. Jan 17, 2022 at 18:14
  • @AnonymousPhysicist. Th OP says they were unaffiliated with that university. Explicitly. The professor is affiliated, of course. So, no, it doesn't contradict.
    – Buffy
    Jan 17, 2022 at 18:32
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    You've taken "never directly related" and inferred from it "no support" despite "under supervision". But supervision is clearly support. Jan 17, 2022 at 19:55
  • "The university provided no support for the paper" It didn't? It paid the professor to supervise OP. A supervisory relationship with a pre-college student is different than collaborating with a retired PhD. Jan 18, 2022 at 16:41
  • 2
    @AzorAhai-him- edited to clarify. There are two universities mentioned here.
    – Buffy
    Jan 18, 2022 at 16:51

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