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I am very new to this...

I need to give a short talk at a conference soon, on which I am going to talk about something my advisor and I work on together. Alphabetically, he should go before me, but would it be confusing since I am the one giving the talk?

Should I just list my name and put "Joint Work with xxx" on the title page?

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    You should discuss with your supervisor, the first author has the most contribution to the paper/oral presentation/...., the second the second, etc...
    – Nikey Mike
    Apr 10, 2016 at 18:45
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    @MikeyMike That's not true as a general rule. See What does first authorship really mean?. It's important to remember when answering questions here that Academia varies, so as to avoid giving advice that is wrong in the OP's situation.
    – ff524
    Apr 10, 2016 at 18:54
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    @MikeyMike, only in some fields. Authorship order means different things in different disciplines.
    – Bill Barth
    Apr 10, 2016 at 18:54
  • Couldn't you go clearer? Like F. Surname, Advisor: Dr. Professor? Or that would be weird? boldface for your name, representing "I'm the guy talking" works fine too. Apr 11, 2016 at 4:22

4 Answers 4

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If you are in mathematics, there is no notion of "first author", so you can ignore alphabetization. You can put your own name on the first slide as you normally would, and then elsewhere on the slide add "Joint work with XXXX." Here's an example from a slide talk I gave: example from one of my talks

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A common way to address this kind of problems is to highlight on the title slide who is the speaker among the authors (e.g., by underlining, bolding or by assigning a different colour).

For instance, you can write the list of authors as

A. Boss, H. Student

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  • Or use an asterisk, underline, or italics to highlight the presenter.
    – Bill Barth
    Apr 10, 2016 at 19:30
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In my own field, the person who had done most of the work (including probably having the idea, doing some analysis, and writing the paper) would safely be the first author. The person presenting the work could be any of the authors (but preferably it would be the first author), and normally their name would be __ underlined __ on the title slide. In some unusual cases, a non-author might present (eg visa problems, illness, etc). In such cases, a special note would be needed on the title slide. In cases where the first authorship is confusing, eg because one person had the idea and did all the analysis, but the other person did all the writing, it is less clear cut, and you need to discuss.

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You can discuss this with your advisor first, however in many fields, the advisor name goes as is the last name (by default not by contribution percentages). Also, since you are the student (you need to identify that when you start presenting yourself), you can still go first (in my field [civil engineering] it is common for students to go first as it is a general knowledge that advisors let their students go first in conferences/posters). It is even common that the conference paper will list that advisor and student as the first and second author but names can be switched in the presentation (if presented by the student).

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    Given that the OP said "Alphabetically, he should go before me" and the OP is also active on Mathematics and Math Overflow, I think it's likely that the OP is in mathematics, where alphabetical ordering of authors is standard.
    – ff524
    Apr 10, 2016 at 19:02
  • I understand, maybe others from different fields can benefit/relate to my answer. The OP needs to edit his/her question and add mathematics (maybe)?
    – The Guy
    Apr 10, 2016 at 19:11
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    I think the question is really asking "How to list authors on the title slide of a presentation when the first author is not the presenting author?" I don't think it's asking who the first author should be, so this answer seems like an answer to a different question.
    – ff524
    Apr 10, 2016 at 19:12
  • "Also, since you are the student (you need to identify that when you start presenting yourself), you can still go first" I didn't say who should be first! It is clear that he can be first since he is the presenter and his adviser is ok with it. He can even clear the air and say that his advisor could not make to the conference (in both scenarios).
    – The Guy
    Apr 10, 2016 at 19:18
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    Being the presenter doesn't imply that he can be listed as first author, if the tradition of the field is different. In addition, in a conference you rarely identify whether you are a student or not, and the fact that he is the presenter doesn't either imply that the advisor could not make it to the conference . Apr 10, 2016 at 19:33

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