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We at a company would like to publish a whitepaper to be included in the proceedings of an academic conference. The specified format requires us to list all authors together with their e-mail addresses.

One author (who did about 5% of the work) had parted ways with the company about half a year ago and had no connection with the ongoing research (or members of the research group) at all since. Thus he doesn't possess a company e-mail address any more either.

How should such a person listed among the authors? He contributed to the research, so naturally should be listed but I'd prefer to do it in a way that communicates "I have no connection with the group any more, I don't know about recent developments and if you contact me most possibly I won't be able to tell you too much useful information". Also, is it suitable to include his personal e-mail address?

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    I suggest going straight to the source: have you asked the contributor how we would prefer his affiliation/email address to be listed on the paper? – Mad Jack Jul 30 '16 at 19:38
  • He's also unreachable, but this is a separate issue that I found some good suggestion to handle in another question. – Piedone Jul 30 '16 at 20:50
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    How should such a person listed among the authors? -- Exactly as that person says when you ask them this question. – JeffE Jul 30 '16 at 22:51
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    @Piedone What dmckee means is essentially the footnote I mentioned. This is one example, pulled from the top of this search. – E.P. Jul 31 '16 at 14:30
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    @Piedone Yes, the established practice is ask the author. – JeffE Jul 31 '16 at 18:53
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From your question, I am concerned that you have not talked to the "author" about the manuscript. You must get permission from all authors prior to submitting a manuscript. It is not acceptable to submit a manuscript without permission from all authors nor is it acceptable to leave an author off just because they have left the group.

As for what is acceptable for an email address and affiliation, almost anything goes (as long as it is not misleading). I personally think universities and research groups should give permanent forwarding addresses to eliminate/reduce these issues.

In terms of the affliation, you should also ask the author. It is not uncommon to list an affiliation as the company/university where the work was done and provide a new corresponding address. As for email, it is common to list only the current address. This might be a new corporate email address, assuming it is appropriate. If not, a personal email or a new personal/professional email address is fine. Again, just ask the author and do what they want.

  • There's no intention not to get permission from that contributor (I didn't include it in the question since it's another issue that I here got answers for, that he's also unreachable) nor to leave him off from the author list, as I also stated. Good point about listing the affiliation as the original company: I forgot to include it but the affiliation should also be indicated in the author list. – Piedone Jul 30 '16 at 20:56
  • Thank your for the answer. Marking this as the accepted one since it's a bit more elaborate, but thank you @bill-barth too. – Piedone Jul 30 '16 at 20:58
  • +1 for the first parargraph, but -1 for the last paragraph. The only way to decide what affiliation to list for that author is to ask the author. They may prefer to use their new affiliation, or no affiliation at all. But then the paper should include a footnote "Portions of this work were done while this author was affiliated with {old affiliation}". – JeffE Jul 30 '16 at 22:47
  • @JeffE yes. The only way is to ask the author. I just wanted to give an idea of what is "acceptable". Hopefully the edit clarifies. – StrongBad Jul 31 '16 at 1:43
  • also a typical method is uses the old affiliation (where work was done) in author list with a footnote flag that says something like Dr. A. Left currently is at XYZ company. – Carol Aug 1 '16 at 16:56
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There's no standard way for this. I don't even assume or care if all the authors of a paper are in the same group at the same institution. Some of my recent publications are half at UT Austin and half at U Buffalo. Getting this person's new email address (even if it's personal) should be fine, though it it is their personal email address, they may want to get a new email address at a new place that they only use for publication affiliations to cut down on the spam to their main personal address.

  • Thank you. Although it's rather just cosmetics I also find it inconvenient to have five \@company.com people followed by a \@gmail.com one... – Piedone Jul 30 '16 at 20:52
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    It's not uncommon to have N authors from U.Random and then one from Google/whoever. Usually it means they're a student who graduated after doing the work and started a job before publication. – user1908704 Jul 30 '16 at 21:14
  • @Piedone, I have one \@work email address and several personal ones including an unlimited supply at a domain I control but never check. It feeds into a GMail address that I never log in to. – Bill Barth Jul 30 '16 at 21:17

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