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I have recently started my career as a freelancer doing academic projects such as revising articles, preparing suitable cover letters, making journal submissions, etc. However, I see that there is a high amount of requests made by undergraduate and graduate students (at least in my country) to have their names as second or third authors of an article in lieu of payment (to the first author) without bothering to know anything about the article.

It is very easy for me to accept such offers to make a considerable amount of money very fast, however, I have always been thinking that this is unethical in participating in science. Aren't I right? Is this a matter of dishonor in other countries too? Is there a way to do this without taking unethical steps?!

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Yup. It is unethical. Unfortunately, it happens quite frequently. For example, in my university in Australia, a big shot professor who is the head of school asks all colleagues to include his/her name. In my discipline and in a specific country, authors after the second author are there to establish/strengthen some relationship.

Whether it will dishonor a country is an open question. In my example above, everybody simply ignores the third authors onward.

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