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I published my first author papers in 2021 and 2022.

My supervisor wants to write a commentary on my Ph.D. work and she will be the first author and corresponding author of that commentary inside which she stresses my already published hypothesis.

Could anyone please advise whether I should ask her for the first authorship? I am also contributing to the writing part. The results and hypothesis discussed in the commentary are based on my Ph.D. work.

It will be a big thing for our lab and country if that hypothesis is proven. Will I get due recognition if she doesn't give me first authorship? I can't request the first authorship because she may get angry and delay my thesis. She has already given me a lot of trouble in the past.

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  • You mention that your published your hypothesis and state that "it will be a big thing ... if that hypothesis is proven". What is unclear to me, is whether the first author publications from 2021 and 2022 already contain some or all of that proof or just the hypothesis. Can you clarify?
    – BioBrains
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 7:10
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    My first author publications contain substantial evidence to support my hypothesis.
    – mini
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 7:45

2 Answers 2

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I don't understand your worries if indeed you have already published your proof in the two papers in 2021 and 2022 as you mention here:

I published my first author papers in 2021 and 2022.

Also, if the paper that is going to be a commentary on your Ph.D. is going to stress the proof you provided as you mention here:

My supervisor wants to write a commentary on my Ph.D. work and she will be the first author and corresponding author of that commentary inside which she stresses my already published hypothesis,

then that's good news. I'm assuming you'll be listed as a co-author of that commentary paper. Moreover, the commentary paper will draw results from your thesis, which I assume it's already been published.

It sounds to me that the extra commentary paper will advertise your results found in the two papers from 2021 and 2022, and your thesis. I think that if your advisor is going through the trouble of doing that for you, then she deserves to be the first author. Additionally, the paper is not going to take away anything from your authorship of the proof. If I was in your position, I wouldn't do anything and I'd be happy to get another paper.

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    Thank you so much for the clarification. I asked my seniors and one of the scientists who advised me to discuss it with my supervisor and that I should be the first author. But I now realize that I was wrong. Though she has harrassed me a lot, and tried to delay my thesis but she deserves it since she supervised me.
    – mini
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 10:21
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The first authorship should be determined according to who made the main intellectual contribution to the paper in question. Prior publications do not really affect it; if your results are already published, then anyone, including but not limited to you advisor, is free to follow up, in particular, write a review or commentary (and it's good for you if they do!).

So, if the main new content of the commentary, as compared to your prior publications, is to offer your advisor's vision of the field and the place of your hypothesis/results in it, then it is they who have made the main contribution and should be the first author. If, on the other hand, you feel that there's more new content in it which is due to you than your advisor, then you have an argument for first authorship.

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    Thank you so much. I asked few people from my institute who suggested me that I should request for first authorship. I think they might have misinterpreted my question. Thank you once again.
    – mini
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 10:26

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