My question is about German academic system, but I would also like to know the situation world-wide.
Any research/educational institution strives (at least in theory) to produce scientific output of high standards. This is the motivation to introduce some kind of internal review for all the papers produced there prior to the submission.
One example would be papers produced during the PhD study. Typically they would involve at least one senior author, typically a professor who has a function of a PhD adviser and who also shares an affiliation with the PhD student. This assures that the manuscript adheres to some minimal quality standards.
In some cases more stringent procedures are implemented, e.g., internal reviews in Max Planck Institutes.
It is quite clear that Professors at the Universities are independent researches and therefore do not need to undergo any internal reviews prior to submission (this post makes me wonder if it is really so). It is, of course, beneficial if they seek for the opinion of colleagues, but not required.
But what is the situation with scientific personal on the intermediate stages of their carrier? Can a Postdoc/Privat Dozent/Junior Prof. affiliate themselves with the university without being refereed internally by some Prof.? My guess would be that this is an individual policy of each university. However, it needs to follow some general rules which I would like to know. I anticipate following scenarios, partly discussed (in more general terms and not specific to a country) in other posts here:
1) One is free to publish without an affiliation. For many reasons it might be not a wise decision. Typically it would signal the editors that the author has some problem with his institution or has no job. This reduces chances of being accepted.
2) The author seeks for an informal internal review, gets the blessing from a professor and does not forget to acknowledge him/her. This seems to be an idealistic and not realistic situation: the prof. will most likely be pissed off having to do some job and not being on the authors list.
3) The author offers the “courtesy authorship" to the prof. However, this might be problematic if the work in not even remotely within research interests of the boss.
4) Being a coworker of the university is sufficient to use this affiliation on the papers. No internal review is required. This answer suggests that this might be the case even for undergraduate students, however, I greatly doubt it in the case of german universities.
The answer seems to be clear if some university equipment was used in order to produce the work. It is natural in this case that the head of the department is listed as an author. My question is mostly about the theoretical work that requires maximum a laptop.
In your answers, please, try to address
- each of the aforementioned nonpermanent positions (Master/PhD students, Postdocs, Privat Dozents, Junior Prof., retired),
- discuss cases of inter-institutional work (PhD student is not working in the same university as PhD advisor), and
- consider other kinds of intellectual output (such a writing books).
- If you think that (3) is the right answer, please, elaborate if it implies restrictions to write papers, books, etc. as a sole author for anyone who is not holding a permanent position.
- If you are inclined towards (4), please, provide some substantiation.
Here is a little cartoon and a historical remark in order to encourage your response.
To put my question in a historical perspective: famous Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote all his works while being associated with the University of Königsberg (MA, 1755; PhD, 1755; Dr. habil., 1770). For instance, in 1749, he published his first philosophical work, "Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces" (written in 1745–47) not even holding a PhD title and possibly unpaid. Does it mean that this and all subsequent works were internally refereed by some professors. What has changed since that time?