I graduated with engineering degree. I (along with 2 other) had done project on SDN, and we have a research paper to publish. But our project guide(, and former project guide ) is forcing us to mention add their name as first, second author and all fee should be paid by us.

Paying fee is not a big deal, but we cannot add their name as first and second author as they have less/no contribution.

We finally decided to remove all instance their name from the paper, and publish it. It is right, or we should inform them before publishing. In all case, we are going to remove every instance of their name. Or any other way to deal it or accept their name and get out of this thing.

We are OK with adding their names, but how should be the order of names?


Top/first page. First comes their name, then ours. We are OK with it.

enter image description here

Bottom(Authors section, biography in some). They want only their name to be written.

enter image description here

Edit2: By less contribution I mean on scale of 10, 3 of us have 7-10, and they have 0-3

  • 3
    First AND second author? Either way, it looks like you have already decided on what to do, so what exactly is your question now?
    – Dirk
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 11:30
  • 12
    @PriyeshKumar, you might want to anonymize the images.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:03
  • 2
    Author ordering depends on the field. Some fields order by contribution, others order alphabetically. Assuming your field orders by contribution, and further assuming that the supervisors contributed (Joris Meys "refuse[s] to believe you didn't get any help in writing it"), but both students contributed more, then order as students first, supervisors second.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:58
  • 1
    Related: What are “fake”, “shady”, and/or “predatory” journals?
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 18:31
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    Btw, it appears that authors 1-3 have the same affiliation, so this needs to be given only once (same footnotemark).
    – Walter
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 21:26

3 Answers 3


I'll assume "guide" means "supervisor." Hence, your project supervisors are insisting that they be listed as co-authors on your SDN paper written under their supervision. Assuming that their supervision resulted to an intellectual contribution to the paper, I believe you have an obligation to list them as co-authors. On the other hand, if your supervisors provided no input / no guidance, then I think you can publish without listing them as co-authors. You could invite the department head to mediate, if there is a dispute over whether the supervisors contributed.

  • 3
    Are you absolutely sure that your supervisors provided no input? I.e., they provided no guidance? If so, then I think you can publish without listing them as co-authors.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 12:31
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    Regarding "they...want to be [the] author[s]," do you mean that the supervisors want to be listed as the sole authors, i.e., without you or your peers being listed? If so, then that is clearly unacceptable.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 12:34
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    Regarding "bibliography section...they are writing only their name" (I think you mean "biography section"), I think all authors should be listed, moreover, I expect the publisher to demand that all authors are listed.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:03
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    @PriyeshKumar "Yes, I can say that they have 0 contribution" - And they also had no input in the design of the project? No suggestions for what to study? You had no questions for them about the project as you did the work? The work is not limited to the manuscript itself (the text and figures), but includes all of the intellectual input that went into developing it.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 16:50
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    @PriyeshKumar Paper by 2 undergraduate students, with no faculty advice at all? I mean, I understand it is possible, maybe even likely in a field like math, but I'd really recommend having some oversight for works done at that stage of your career, if nothing else to help you with things like which journals to submit to, how to order authors, and whether it's appropriate to cite stackoverflow in a publication.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 19:10

This is not an answer to the question. But as a researcher, I would definitely answer this in my way. I don't care about the downvotes and flagging here in academia.SE.

Dear Mr. Priyesh, I would advise against publishing in such a journal. Sorry, this comment has nothing to do with the question.

  • This is a scammy journal. They must be charging you some money for the publication. From their site, I got this:

Publication and Indexing Charges

Other Author USD 65

Indian Author INR 1500

Which definitely suggests that it is from India and is a pure business.

  • There are a lot of grammatical mistakes in the web page that adds to suspicion more.

  • The reviewer board is not eligible at all to be called so.

  • When they mention that it is Open Access, why would they want a copyright transfer policy from the authors? Is it not sufficient to just ask for a consent form?

  • If you have not paid the money till now, do withdraw your paper. Anyway, it is left to you.

  • Regarding author order, it does not matter to the journal. They just want your money.

Be careful!

And one more thing, you should anonymize the article images. These may not be necessary to disclose your co-authors' details as per reputation is concerned.(in line with one of the comment by user2768)

  • 1
    Thank you for posting this, great point. Just want to add the caveat that I feel like I add here to a post like this at least once a month, that although this journal in particular may be scammy, charging for publication is indeed normal in some fields, including by the very top journals in those fields, and not in others.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 18:48
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    @BryanKrause I understand that charging for publication is normal for top quality OA publishers such as PLOS. But, it is quite publisher specific. I don't intend to generalize anything on this. A great revolution is needed in academic research to through away such scammy publishers. I have been a victim of this back in 2010. I always regret it.
    – Coder
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 18:58
  • Yep, agreed on all points. In the biomedical sciences it's pretty normal to have at least some publication fees, though sometimes it's limited to early open access (most journals are already open access after 6 or 12 months due to requirements by funding agencies), color figures, or something else. $65 is actually incredibly incredibly cheap for a submission in the US, that could even be an abstract fee for a conference, but that doesn't mean they are any less scammy.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 19:07
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    @Coder, I advised Priyesh Kumar to "provide an anonymized image of the title page and the bibliography page" (academia.stackexchange.com/questions/90870/…), it seems Priyesh provided a paper written by different authors, but in the same format (academia.stackexchange.com/questions/90870/…). Your points are all still valid (assuming same format implies same journal). But I thought I'd clarify this aspect.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 7:33
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    Great! I didn't knew much about that journal. If you can suggest some journal in network (sdn or similar) field. @user2768 you are right same format and journal. Its was publicly available and I thought its fine. Will change it asap. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 13:29

One thing you should really keep in mind, is who paid for the project. Many universities and research institutes have the policy that all data from research done at their facilities, is property of the institute and not the researcher itself. So if the research was done there, big chance the institute's policies require you to at least mention them. If not, you could face a lawsuit on infringement of intellectual property, despite the fact you did the actual research. You better check that thoroughly before publishing.

In case you have to mention the institute in some way, I would propose the supervisor to list them as co-authors in second-to-last and last position. Many universities follow that same practice: The first (second, third) author are the ones writing the actual paper. The last author is the professor supervising the lab. So unless they're very out of touch, they should be fine with being second to last and last author.

  • 4
    Regardless of whether "the institute's policies require you to at least mention them," I recommend that the institute is mentioned in an acknowledgement, e.g., "this research was conduced at <institute>."
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 13:07
  • They had asked us to remove acknowledgment. So are we good in just adding acknowledgment ? Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 13:20
  • Its not our paper, but has same format, and not in review. We'll write all names. Last thing which is recommended order of names, students followed by guide or vice versa. Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 13:52
  • @PriyeshKumar, if you've been explicitly advised not to include such an acknowledgement, then you should follow that advice. We don't know the specifics. Your supervisors do.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:12
  • So what should be the order of names? First us or them? Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:16

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