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Consider please the two following cases:

  1. I took a graduate course, and I naturally did the final project on something related to my research subject. I got a nice conclusion from it. It wasn't nearly enough for publication, but I later on wrote a paper that had included material I got doing my course project. The 'size' of contribution (if that has any relevance) was about half a column from the entire paper. The course lecturer hadn't helped me especially, i.e. we didn't remotely discuss publishing anything.

  2. I did another graduate course, in which the lecturer talked about his own research. Later on, unrelated to the course, I used the methods he taught and wrote a paper based on it.

These are two unrelated cases.

I was wondering if the lecturers should be included as authors in a paper in either case.

  • Was the lecturer in case 2 using standard methods you could have learned anywhere? Did he publish any papers using those methods that you could cite in your methods section instead of making him an author? – user137 Apr 21 '15 at 21:00
  • He indeed published, and I cited his work. In principle I could have learned this 'anywhere', but it would be difficult since there are no coursebooks in this subject as it's rather new/state-of-the-art. – yoki Apr 21 '15 at 21:43
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    I think you did all you should do then. Simply lecturing on a method doesn't make you an author. If so, every biochem professor who mentioned SDS-PAGE would have a ton of publications. – user137 Apr 21 '15 at 21:49
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Authorship is reserved for people who contribute to the scientific output of the article. It is not clear to me that the cases you mention qualify although they could. The Vancouver Protocol (here as given by the ICMJE) provide a good basis for assessing authorship. If your course lecturer fulfil these criteria and thus actively participate in the creation of the article then all is fine. If the lecturer takes no active part then the appropriate way would be to place a note in the acknowledgement of the contribution.

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