I am a Ph.D. student. I recently have an issue with authorship on the paper where my advisor was the first and the corresponding author, I was the second, and our Dean was the third. I felt very frustrated and would like to have your ideas. I am not sure in such a case I could claim being the second author of the manuscript.
My advisor constructed the idea and we developed all the materials for the project together. When we started our project, we decided that he was the first and the corresponding author, and I was the second author. After we have completed data collection, my advisor invited our Dean to be the third author, responsible for data analysis. At this time, I initiated the idea that the we needed to be clear about our responsibility to the manuscript writing. In my private meeting with my advisor, I told him that I would write the methodology, data analysis and result sections of our manuscript to fulfill the role of the second author. He agreed.
Then, I learned from my advisor that the Dean would write the data analysis and results sections, which makes sense as he worked with data analysis. However, my advisor suggested I should write the literature review but I refused as I believed that, him, being the first and the corresponding author should make the most contribution to the manuscript. This means I assume that he should write the literature review and dicussion, the two sections central to the manuscript. So, I told him that I was more than willing to write the introduction, implications, and conclusions. However, after I told him my plan, I got this reply:
"Thanks for letting me know you that you are unwilling to write the literature review. I have other plans for the sections you mentioned." "As you did not contribute more than the third author in the manuscript writing, you are NOT the second author".
Later, my advisor told me "the other plans" we had was asking some of his students, possibly the RAs to write the rest parts of the manuscript. This makes me feel very uncomfortable, as I felt that he was trying to claim the first author without making the first-author contribution to the manuscript writing.
Following is the information about my role in the project:
- My advisor conceptualize the project, and I constructed the experiment materials for project by working with my advisor.
- I played a leading role the data collection by working with 2 undergraduate RAs and 2 postgraduate RAs. I assisted all the 4 RAs in the course of data collection as they are still new to our experiment. Apart from that, I independently collected 50% of the data.
- I have written the methodology section of the manuscript.
- I cleaned all the data and coded the data for the Dean's analysis.
In general, does the second author have the right to choose which sections he writes for the manuscript?
We have agreed the sequence of the authorship but my advisor is inviting more people such as the RAs who did not made much contribution to the experiment (expect for data collection) to write the manuscript. This means he will only need to write the abstract and the discussion sections of the paper. Is this ethical that he still claim to be the first author?
I will not write the literature review but I have agreed to write some other sections of the manuscript. However, it seems that I could not be the 2nd author unless I write the literature review. May I know how to solve this issue?