To start with, let me confess a sin that I have committed a few years ago. A friend of mine asked me to proofread several of his papers before sending them for publication. After helping him several times without expecting anything in return, he offers to included me as one of the authors of another paper after I proofread it. Being immature and greedy, I have accepted the offer, which is a great mistake. Later the paper was published and I was listed as one of the authors of the paper, and I understand nothing about the paper itself. Now I am facing the mistake that I have made and have decided to do something about it.

  1. Should I always exclude the paper from my resume? Although I was officially listed as one of the authors, I do not feel that I contributed to any part of the paper except proofreading.
  2. Is there anything else that I should do about this situation?
  • 3
    IMHO there's a whole lot of a difference between proofread as in finding typos and proofread as in checking the maths, arguments, conclusions of a paper, pointing out improvements, being the sparrings partner that allowed your friend to formulate their paper concisely, and so on. So whether or not you deserved that authorship may be open to further discussion. However, noone forces you to put a particular paper into your resume - at some point you'll anyways transition to listing selected papers. (BTW I list only recent and decidedly good papers in my CV, not the medium ones) May 22, 2017 at 9:34

2 Answers 2


Be sure to never do this again.

I think it's reasonable to remove the paper from your CV and forget about it. Otherwise, people are definitely going to ask you about it in interviews.

Other than that I don't think there's much you can do to remedy this.


Though it's true that you shouldn't have been an author, please don't be too hard on yourself. As academic sins go, there are many that are far worse! Removing the paper from your CV (and your Google scholar profile, etc.) is a great thing to do. It's very unlikely, given that, that anyone will notice your authorship, and it's therefore very unlikely that you'll benefit in any undeserved way from the paper.

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