I recently co-authored a paper with about 40 other authors. This was a position paper that appeared as the output from a workshop, and my name appears somewhere in the middle of the list.

My contribution to the paper was a literature review section, which told the history of our field in a novel way, emphasising common themes that hadn't been commented on before and introducing new terminology to describe them.

I would like to re-capitulate this work in a new paper, following quite closely the story I wrote for the joint paper, although re-writing the text and condensing it quite a bit. This would be as an introductory section aimed at a different audience than the previous paper, which is why I want to say it again rather than just citing it.

The question is about how best to cite the previous paper. On the one hand I could just say something like "we closely follow the treatment given by XXX et al (2017)" without mentioning that it's my own contribution. However, I'm worried it might look a bit odd that we follow the literature review quite so closely if it's not clear that it's my own work I'm citing.

So I'm wondering if it's appropriate and/or permissible to flag up that I wrote that part of the XXX et al. paper, e.g. "we closely follow the treatment that one of us (YYY) gave in XXX et al (2017)." There is nothing in the XXX et al. paper that identifies this section as my work, so the reader would have to trust me on that.

In case it's relevant, the previous paper is mostly history and philosophy of science, whereas the new one is aimed at a technical audience in evolutionary theory and cognitive science.

I note that this is related to Citing a result due to a single author that appears in a paper with multiple authors, but the context and my reason for wanting to single out one of the authors are quite different.

1 Answer 1


My opinion, in biomedical field: I think your last suggestion is fine. Something along the line of:

"Previously, I (or, ugh, "The author of this paper") contributed a review of the history of making omelette using rice cookers in a joint paper (cite the old paper). In this paper, I/The author of this paper will further document the application of rice cookers with fuzzy logic and pressurization mechanism in omelette making."

I think it's important to take credit and show the work development stream. But more so, you should make sure the audience will not credit this new work to the first author of the said article. That'd be unfair to those authors.

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