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I received a request to contribute a book chapter about a month ago, which I turned down. This was from a university in another country, and from someone I have personally met.

Today, my own supervisor asked me to contribute a similar chapter to a book which she has been asked to be an editor of.

Given that the two requests happened in a relatively short time, and the reason I gave for declining the former request might still stand, would there be a problem if I accept the latter request, when I have declined the former?

  • I don't see the problem; it's not like you certify when you turn down the first offer, that you won't accept another – ff524 May 23 '14 at 15:01
  • @ff524, I think it was implied, as I declined the offer on the grounds of not having the time to do it due to family obligations. – adipro May 23 '14 at 19:55
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As xLeitix said, you are free to contribute to whichever project(s) you choose. Declining once does not obligate you to decline twice.

You commented that you have chosen to decline the first offer because of not having enough time. This second offer is coming from your supervisor, who presumably knows your work better, and should have a sense of what you may already have written which will need relatively little revising to become a book chapter. If this is the case, then even if the issue should somehow come up with the individuals involved in the first offer, it will easily be understood that the situation is different.

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This is not an ethical issue at all. You are free to contribute to whatever book / project you like. There is no obligation that you can't join a different book project just because you turned somebody else down before.

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