I am an undergraduate student starting my second year. Last semester, I took part in a research project and earned co-authorship of their paper, which got recently published.

However, when adding names from our anonymous submission to the camera-ready version, the primary author misspelled my first name(Garret instead of Garrett). Because this was a fairly minor edit, I didn't notice it until a few weeks after it had been fully published.

I've already asked the advising professor about it and he said that it wasn't anything to worry about, and that I should create an account on Google scholar and manually add the paper to my account. I've done this, but is there anything else I should do? How bad is this, or is it actually fairly minor?


4 Answers 4


I guess you can contact the journal publication and ask them change your name in the online version. Printed book is probably already published. But the online is very easy to change. I never tried this, but I guess this would not be a problem. Just give it a try.

I see one problem here. In case you want to use that publication in future, lets say in your thesis, your misspelled name may induce some problems, because you present the verified list of articles you published.

  • 3
    I don't quite understand your last paragraph. Are you suggesting that somebody may not believe that the paper is actually his? That seems very unlikely to me. Commented May 12, 2014 at 19:47
  • There might be, who knows. You submit an official document, with official list of publications and there is a guy with a slightly different name in the list. Reviewer may request clarification for that. It is better to change the name now to get rid of all future misunderstanding. Everything depends on the country and beaurocratic stuff.
    – bordart
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:12

This is probably not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. The journal can fix your name on the "linking page" for the article—which is the one most search engines will point to.

Secondly, in terms of the search engines themselves, the misspelling is not as catastrophic as if it were the last name that were affected. This is because most search engines only use initials for first and middle names, instead of the complete name. For instance, "John Q. Public" would be searched for in Web of Science as

Public JQ


"Public, John Q"

which makes finding your papers not so difficult, in spite of the spelling error. (Of course, if there's a problem with the citation databases, you can alert them to the error.)


It's pretty hard to change a name after publication. Many journals with print editions treat that as a permanent record of sorts. I'm not sure if that information can be changed in the DOI record though. It would be best to do as was suggested, and link that pub to your name in citation managers.

  • Well, to be fair, printed copies of a journal sent to thousands of subscribing university libraries in the world are a fairly permanent record. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 22:31

The name error is a factual error and it should be possible to request a corrigendum to the journal. See for instance here:


All of the other answers hinting to the fact that you cannot change your name on a published article assume that the name was correct at the time of publication. This is not true in your case. Journals base their reputation on their being factually correct and I can't see any reputable journal refusing to change an incorrect name.

This said, I agree with others that it probably will not make much of a difference, but it would also be annoying to have to point this out every time it comes up (oh, yes, that is really me).

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