I am the lead author on a journal paper to the IEEE, and I'm trying to figure out how to cite other contributors in a way that makes sense. Two of us are affiliated with a university, one contributor is a wonderful and knowledgable mathematician whose "real job" is in the service industry, and the other contributor is also a math nerd who is a barista in another country that did all of the proofs.

Would these non-conventional authors be "independent" or "unaffiliated" or some other term. The affiliation is required by the journal. Any suggestions (or a definitive source) of how to handle this issue would be appreciated.

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    In what sense is affiliation "required" by the journal? A formal rule, or just a web form that can't be left blank? In the former case, ask the journal what they want you to do. In the latter, enter "none". Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 19:13
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    By the way, the word "cite" is not applicable here; that would be about referring to other papers by those people. I would talk about how to "list" these collaborators. Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 19:14
  • @NateEldredge Two things, firstly, the affiliation is required, but mostly, I'd like a to be sure that protocol is followed, which leads me to the second part: I was hoping for an authoritative reference. As per that link, "Independent Scholar" is promising; however, I am still unsure if there's an official method. An aside, "independent scholar" as a literal phrase translates terribly into the other language one of the researchers (one doesn't speak english), so a official reference would dismiss doubt about nuance.
    – b degnan
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:00
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    Ok. I don't know of any universally authoritative / official term or protocol for such situations. The journal might have standardized on some specific term, but you would have to ask them about that. Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:05
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    @NateEldredge After a few rounds with the editors, we did decide on "Independent Scholar".
    – b degnan
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 10:06


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