I am currently not an active student at my university since I decided to go on leave, although I plan to return Fall of 2024 to finish my undergraduate studies there.

After of a variety of circumstances transpired, I managed to obtain a position assisting a professor at another university for a research project and they want to include my name in a paper for this project.

Now it was said it would be preferrable to include my university affiliation as part of my authorship, which would be the university I plan to obtain my degree from. However, as I said, I am not an active student at the university. I am wondering if it would be proper to include my affiliation or not. It can be verified that I am indeed part of my university and on leave, and as I said, I intend to return next Fall. However, I am wondering what would be the proper way to go about this. Does anything have suggestions?

  • 1
    Did the new university give you an email address? Are you being paid by them.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 22:31
  • No to both for the new university (at least right now). @Buffy Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 23:45
  • Who said this sentence "it is preferable to include your original university"? Who is "it"?
    – High GPA
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


Ask the Dean (or maybe the department head) at your own university what they think. If they suggest that you don't (which I wouldn't expect), then ask the same question of the new university.

Sometimes it is possible to explain such details in a footnote to the paper.

Sometimes it is appropriate to give your affiliation as "Student on leave from ...". Lots of possibilities.

Assuming that you aren't corresponding author, which I also doubt, it doesn't matter too much. But note that "affiliation" is a mutual thing. I've done consulting for IBM in the past, but it would be improper for me to list that as my affiliation without their permission if a new project came up.


Usually, you should only include the affiliate(s) that are involved. "Involved" means you

  1. Use university library resources
  2. Use university copy-editing or advising resources
  3. Use physical/virtual spaces, (e)mail boxes, equipment, computing, or other facilities, or,
  4. Use their funding, fellowships, or other resource
  5. Get help with seminars, meetings, classes, discussions, networks, and research assistances.

If none of them apply, then it is possible better to not to include that affiliation. But different journals have different rules. Some journal asks for all affiliations, and some only ask for the current affiliation.

Consult your current advisor for more details.

  • 1
    I think these are decent rules for "secondary" affiliations. It doesn't really answer the question though. Students (and faculty for that matter) should really list their current university in almost all normal circumstances - this student is in a bit of a grey zone since they are on a temporary leave. So a bit different.
    – sErISaNo
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 7:16

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