I completed my post-graduation and published some review papers in reputable journals. One of the professors from my institution contacted me to work on his students' papers. I gave each paper a decent amount of time and provided necessary feedback and areas for improvement. For the papers where I created illustrations and tables myself, I was listed as a co-author, but I wasn't included in the papers where I only provided comments. Should I ask for authorship? Although none of these topics are related to my PhD work.

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2 Answers 2


If you only made comments, you likely did not do enough for coauthorship, although this may vary somewhat from field to field. At least in math, comments which go mostly to presentation and the like are very common and end up being noted in the acknowledgment section.

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    I agree. In psychology, this would be an unusual request, but not merit authorship, although the senior should have clarified expectations before OP put effort in. Commented 2 days ago
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    Acknowledgments like "We thank Akash for a careful reading of the manuscript." or "We thank Akash for helpful comments on an early version of the manuscript." would be appropriate also in physics. Also, yes, it seems that expectations were not made clear in this case.
    – Anyon
    Commented 2 days ago
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    Even in the environmental and biological sciences, where we can be very generous with co-authorships, commenting on a draft manuscript and suggesting areas for improvement would only warrant an acknowledgement. Commented 2 days ago
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    @Significance I'm not sure this is true in biological/medical sciences. I've seen this (adding as co-author) happen a few times before. Commented yesterday

I agree with JushuaZ here, when you only provided comments. But they could thank you in the acknowledgements for your valuable input.

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