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A few years ago in my university, K. N. Toosi University, I was assigned a supervisor by the university. She suggested that I work on Natural language processing and I did so.

The problem is that I wrote the code and did every scientific part myself. It was half way through the work that I realized that she has very little knowledge about NLP and almost nothing about text summarization. She didn't provide any facilities or grants of any sort for me. I wrote the paper after graduation and she just proofread the work and she didn't add anything to the paper. Remember she just gave me some suggestions on changing the order of some parts.

Now the question is, does she deserve to have a name in my paper? Is it ethical to add someone's name as co-author just because they are your supervisor?

She and I had a falling out a few weeks back. I asked her two months ago to do the revisions by the journal and after all this time, she didn't do anything (I had personal issues and the journal didn't have much time to edit the paper). I got mad and told her everything about how she treated me and it is absolutely not ethical for someone to choose a field of work and not have any knowledge so the grad student has to do all of the work. She said and I quote "I don't need your paper and I will send an email to the journal saying I don't take responsibility for the paper". I told her it's fine by me and I won't publish the paper there. I emailed the editor and apologized for the problems. She told me it's fine if I have to submit it later or to another journal.

  • Yes, she deserves to be a co-author. She was (is) your academic supervisor assigned by the university. If you don't want any trouble in future, keep aside your ego and keep the paper as it is. Don't remove her now. It's too late. – Coder Oct 3 '17 at 17:22
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    Conventions for co-authorship vary between fields. In my field, mathematics, someone who made no real contribution to the work would not be a co-author. Supervisors are not automatically co-authors. But please be aware that your field may have different standards for co-authorship. – Andreas Blass Oct 3 '17 at 17:36
  • @Coder She said she won't agree to any publications. At most what i can do is thank her in acknowledgement or just not publish the paper. (2 years of my life was spent on that and I also participated in a related contest and I was placed second.) – Guardian Oct 3 '17 at 17:43
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    @Guardian I see no connection between my comment and your reply to it. In particular, I wrote nothing about "getting recommendation for my Ph.D." – Andreas Blass Oct 3 '17 at 17:53
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    Whether you need a recommendation from her is irrelevant. Whether she is your supervisor is irrelevant. If she made a substantial intellectual contribution, she should be a coauthor; if she did not, then she should not. – JeffE Oct 3 '17 at 18:09
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The last comment by JeffE is the answer here.

Whether you need a recommendation from her is irrelevant. Whether she is your supervisor is irrelevant. If she made a substantial intellectual contribution, she should be a coauthor; if she did not, then she should not. She didn't contribute in any substantial way. So she will be removed.

  • I recommend you ask a third party if your supervisor did indeed make substantial contributions. Your question sounds as if it's written in anger and your motive in avoiding the supervisor seems to be as much spite and malice as anything. Once your mutual anger dies down, you may see this differently; others may see it differently now, and you may be doing irreparable harm to your reputation by acting this way. – iayork Oct 3 '17 at 18:35

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