I have recently completed my Ph.D. and would be joining the industry in an analytics profile where publishing is not mandatory. I want to keep on publishing to ensure my return to academia if I feel like it someday. Can I keep sending papers to journals and conferences using my old academic affiliation?

  • What does the institution/group you claim to be affiliated with think? Do they still see you as "someone associated with their team"? Mar 30, 2017 at 6:24
  • 7
    It seems dishonest to indicate an affiliation that does not exist.
    – Dan Fox
    Mar 30, 2017 at 7:33
  • Do the answers here address your question? The short answer is that your affiliation needs to accurately reflect the most current affiliation that supported the research. A job in industry will likely not leave you much time to do research that's completely independent of that job and the company's resources, so they should be your default affiliation. Mar 30, 2017 at 8:19
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    @DanFox: What does it mean for an affiliation to "exist"? Isn't both sides verbally agreeing to work together enough? Mar 30, 2017 at 13:03
  • @O.R.Mapper: It means one has a mutually recognized relation with the institution in which it is understood that one's research activity forms part of that relation. This can be contractual, honorary, etc. What would be dishonest is to represent that one works at XYZ when one visited XYZ 4 years ago. Some people represent themselves as affiliated with a certain institution because that affiliation gives credibility they might not otherwise have.
    – Dan Fox
    Mar 31, 2017 at 6:22

3 Answers 3


When you are really not affiliated to the institution anymore, you should not put it on your publications. Certainly not, when the work you are publishing has not been initiated during your stay at the institution.

Many institutions have the possibility to offer you a 'zero hours' contract. In this scheme you remain affiliated to the institution, and can use their facilities (e.g., email address, etc), but do not receive any monetary compensation.

If you agree to such an arrangement with your previous institution, you obviously can still use the affiliation on your publications.

  • 2
    To add to the facilities argument, having access to journal articles is a major benefit if you are doing research. And if the OP is actually publishing good stuff, many universities/departments will be happy to accrue the reputational benefits. Mar 30, 2017 at 11:39
  • Perhaps the last phrase is more correctly worded, that "if your previous institution agrees to such an arrangement with you, then in part of that arrangement, you generally are allowed to use the institutional affiliation. There may be reasons (e.g., the person has a history of retracted publications or is trying to publish about a perpetual motion machine) that a university might prefer to vet an adjunct.
    – Carol
    Mar 30, 2017 at 21:56

I have a colleague in urban studies who continues to publish research even though she is not currently in academia and runs a non-profit. She lists the non-profit she directs as her affiliation on publications. In her case, it appears impressive that she is a "practitioner-scholar." I don't know what your exact discipline is, but if your current job is okay with you publishing your work while employed there, why not list your employer? That doesn't affect the quality of your work. You can also credit your former indtitution in the suthor's note or author's bio, if there is one. Hope this helps!


It considerably depends whether the research you are publishing/presenting was done at your former institution or not.

Case 1: the research was done at your former institution

Your former institution supported your research (office, computer, lab, ...). The number of publications is an important metric for research institutions when they are evaluated. If you did your research at that institution, it is fair to list it as the affiliation of you or of one of the co-authors. Thus, the publication is counted as this institution's publication.

However, your former institution (head of department or similar) needs to be informed about the publication and should be asked in advance, whether it is desired to indicate the institution as your affiliation.

Case 2: the research was done after you left your former institution

In the second case, your former institution should not be mentioned because there is not connection between your current research and that institution.

However, if you are still using resources of that institution (e.g. a high performance computing cluster), you should discuss it with the responsible person there.

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