I'm a graduate student in a biological sciences lab. About 6 months ago I started an after-hours (does such a thing exist?) project with a fellow graduate student in a different lab doing computational physics. We principally work on the weekends and late at night, and I like to think that the time we use would otherwise have been spent playing video games, drinking, etc (not doing lab work), but who really knows?
Our collaboration has been extraordinarily fruitful and we have one paper ~90% written, and a follow up ~50% written. Both are highly theoretical, and have no direct relation to our respective theses work. Also, both our PIs know and are supportive of us pursuing this project, and neither has so much as even hinted at wanting authorship. And neither is an expert (or even an amateur..) in physics.
1) Should we include our PIs? They could potentially contribute to editing and big picture, but are not able to even assess the validity of what we've accomplished. As an "experienced" graduate student I know they shouldn't be authors, but they are also making it possible for us spend our time thinking, and they've supported our endeavor at least in spirit.
2) Suppose our PIs are not included. We're just two graduate students. Is it even possible to get a fair review with neither of us having the requisite degrees? How do we pay for publication ($1000-5000)? I'm interested in the "meta" discussion as much, or more, than the ethical discussion. For example, there is a third faculty member in this area who we've had some discussion of the science with, and who is a computational physicist. Should we include him on the manuscript as a signature of credibility? Should he be last author or a middle author, if so? If there are any physicists perusing, I'd be particularly interested in your thoughts, as my experience in publishing has been solely in the biomedical journals so far.
Thanks for considering my dilemma.