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I am working on a paper that requires a comparison method to be implemented. The method of choice is not in my discipline. I asked a collaborator, who is an expert in the area and with whom I have several papers published, if he could implement it. It is about a week worth of work, most likely less. Both the collaborator and his professor would get an authorship on the paper.

His professor said that the project can be only done if I had funding for him. The collaborator is already funded through an external fellowship. The project does not require any purchases. Is this an unusual request?

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Seems to me like that's their way of saying "no". One week of work in exchange for authorship is a great deal -- and you'd give authorship to the professor, too, in exchange for nothing? Why would the professor say no? I'm guessing that the professor doesn't think your research will succeed, or get published, and therefore doesn't want to invest the time.

I'd recommend just working with the student in his "spare time". I'm sure it's worth his time in exchange for authorship.

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    If you work with the student in his "spare time", make sure the professor doesn't feel you went behind their back. Sep 19, 2014 at 12:21
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    It might be worth asking such a professor casually to critique your work. Fair chance something valuable will come out of it. Sep 19, 2014 at 13:24
  • @joeclark-phd Thanks for the answer. I was just curious if this was normal behavior or for whatever the reason they do not want to collaborate any more. The professor is very familiar with my work, which this paper is based on. He was in the committee that passed my dissertation with distinction, so I do not think it is the quality of the work. Either way, the message is clear, I'll do it myself - it is a learning opportunity.
    – Orion
    Sep 20, 2014 at 3:22

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