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I am currently a student at University D, and I am writing a computer-science paper as the first author. The paper, however, has no connections whatsoever with University D. Instead, all of my research was done as part of an internship at University T, and the corresponding author (my advisor) is also from University T.

I am planning to order the affiliations as follows:

My Name2,*, Advisor's Name1,†

1 University T, 2 University D

And label on the footnotes:

* Research done in internship with University T.

Corresponding Author

My question is: is this allowed in computer science? It is obviously the only logical choice to make University T the first affiliation of the paper, so the question can also be framed as follows:

Must the first affiliation of the paper be the affiliation of the first author?

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  • Update: Final Decision: My Name{1,2,*}, Advisor's Name{1,†}, 1 University T, 2 University D
    – user173920
    Aug 23, 2023 at 12:13

2 Answers 2

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The usual choice would be for you to list two affiliations, i.e.

Your name1,2, Advisor's Name1

1 University T
2 University U

or perhaps even something like

Your name1,*, Advisor's Name1

1 University T

With a footnote

* Now at University U

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    But I think just being an intern at university T does not indicate that I have a formal "affiliation" with them. During the internship my formal affiliation should still only be with university D, right?
    – user173920
    Jul 23, 2023 at 10:09
  • @ShiranYuan if you were affiliated with University D when doing the work, then your original claim that the paper has nothing to do with university D is not true. Just list University D first in that case. Aug 22, 2023 at 10:34
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In both computer science and elsewhere, the order of affiliations is typically dictated by the formatting requirements of the paper, just like the order of citations.

Individual authors with multiple affiliations will order those affiliations from "most important" to "least important", but if you know the order of authors and each authors' affiliation list, then the full affiliation listing will be algorithmically determined. Indeed, in the LaTeX formats commonly used in computer science publications, you will have no ability at all to set affiliation order!

More importantly: unlike author order, no reader will care about affiliation order on the paper. They will only care about being able to tell the affiliations of the authors.

For your case then, I would suggest asking your advisor whether or not they think you should list a dual affiliation. I wouldn't sweat the details, though, or even bother about the "I was an intern" footnote unless your advisor thinks it's important to include, since cross-institutional publications like this are entirely commonplace and unremarkable.

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