My supervisor received an invitation to submit a paper to a special issue of a prestigious journal. Naturally, I have done most of the writing (80%) and all the results in the manuscript are my work.

In this case, who has to be the first author? Is it him, for he is the one invited to submit the paper? Or is it me for doing most of the work?

  • 5
    possible duplicate of What does first authorship really mean?
    – 410 gone
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:33
  • 1
    I don't think that is a duplicate.
    – xLeitix
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:40
  • 3
    Invitation does not per se equal first authorship. I assume the rules of who should be first author in your field (as discussed in some places here) do not change significantly just because it is an invited paper.
    – xLeitix
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:42
  • 6
    I don't really understand why the OP's thesis advisor wants to respond to an invitation to submit a paper to a prestigious journal by submitting the OP's work. Mar 19, 2014 at 11:56
  • Sorry, but @410gone is correct. This question is a duplicate because it has the same answer as the other question. An invitation to submit a paper does nothing to change author order. Mar 16, 2020 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


If a person receives an invitation, the responsibility to deliver will be with that person. That does not necessarily mean that person will be first author although I suspect it will most frequently be the case. There are many posts on academia.se that deal with first authorships so I do not think I need to replicate many good answers here. Suffice it to say that you need to discuss the authorship with your advisor. Unfortunately, this should have been done early on because lack of an agreement on authorship ordering early on is what usually leads to conflicts in the end. I am not saying this applies in your case but the fact that you ask seems to go in that direction.

For authorship and contributorship discussions I can point you to two posts in Council of Science Editors and BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). There are many other sources but they provide the core ideas on author/contributorship. It is easy to agree with these ideas, more difficult to live by them, particularly in a student-advisor relationship.

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