If I contribute to a collaborative research work in the conceptualization and data analysis phase (not with the PI), can I use the name of my university in the affiliation ? I have heard that I can only use the university affiliation if I have used the university resources or the research was carried out in the university. But if I am contributing to the conceptualization and data analysis, I am technically not using any university resource. Then what should be my affiliation ?

  • Are you a student or faculty member at that institution?
    – Buffy
    Mar 30 at 20:22
  • @Buffy I started the work as an independent research (mainly involving statistical studies) during my PhD, asked my supervisor for help - which he didn't. So, I carried out the work on my own. Now I am doing job in industry which is also unrelated to the topic of the project. Recently, I have found a collaborator and with his research work I can combine my personal project work. But I am thinking about which affiliation to use as the work was technically done during my PhD but not with my supervisor, I can't use the name of my current company either Mar 30 at 22:01
  • Independent researcher usually works
    – Buffy
    Mar 30 at 22:05
  • @Buffy I thought about that. But I can not see many research papers authored by independent researchers in reputed peer reviewed journals. I had the impression that the publishers don't take independent researchers seriously, as it is hard to say whether the researcher has a PhD from Oxford or is an amateur writer Mar 30 at 22:24
  • No, there just aren’t many independent researchers out there.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 31 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


Consider affiliation to be a mutual thing. If you are employed by a university or you are a student there then you are affiliated with them. It isn't about resources, but about a relationship that is recognized by both parties. I once did some consulting to IBM, but I wasn't affiliated with them. The people I consulted with there, were, however, affiliated (employees).

You aren't affiliated with the university of a collaborator unless they, somehow, recognize that relationship and will attest to it if asked. That is still true even if you somehow use some of their resources on a collaborative project.

There can be edge cases, of course. If a university founds some research center and invites you as a member of the team, even unpaid, you can probably claim affiliation. But most cases aren't that subtle. Collaboration between faculty at different institutions isn't the same thing.

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