As I know, using "I" and "we" should be avoided in research paper writing.

But in one of my paper, I am the only one author.

And in the introduction I wrote something like AA et al. proved that ..., BB et al. found that ..., CC et al. stated that ....

Then the problem is that I want to refer to one of my previous research that I had conducted with Mr.CC. I and Mr.CC are the only two authors in those researches.

In this case, which one should I write? (1) I and CC confirmed that .... (2) My name and CC confirmed that .... (3) The author and CC confirmed that .... (4) Our group confirmed that ....

For me, I think the (2) sounds awkward. (4) may not be able to use because I am not in his group in "CC et al. stated that ....". But I am not sure whether the (1) and (3) are suitable. Thank you very much in advanced.

For more information : I did not involve in "CC et al. stated that ....". This is the result of his team. But I involve in "I and CC confirmed that ...." which is the work that only I and CC did it. So CC will be referred two times in this paper.

  • 4
    "using "I" and "we" should be avoided in research paper writing" - not always, this is one of those academia varies things. What field are you in?
    – ff524
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:36
  • I am in the field of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
    – Yossiri
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:38
  • The paper in this question was sent to a conference in the field of Virtual Reality. Maybe counted as Computer Engineering.
    – Yossiri
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:44
  • 1
    (2) [Yossiri and CC] is fine, though it sounds strange. You will get used to it. You can of course also say "It was shown that xxx (Yossiri and CC, 2017)", i.e. not mentioning the authors' names at all in text.
    – Mark
    Oct 23, 2017 at 19:45
  • Agree with Mark, depersonalize the statement entirely by saying "it was shown (Yossiri and CC, 2017)." Write/cite as if you were an objective third party.
    – Quixy
    Oct 23, 2017 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


There are two options I know of (I've seen both).

One is to ignore that the person you are referring to is one of the authors, and write exactly the same way as if they were a third party. I guess this makes some sort of sense if there is no direct link between the two sets of work.

The other option is to use 'the first author' (or 'the second author', as applicable).

  • Thank you for the reply. Do you mean (2) My name and CC confirmed that .... and (3) The author and CC confirmed that .... ?
    – Yossiri
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:56
  • 1
    Option #1 is also the appropriate answer when writing for a journal that uses blinded reviewing, since the object in that case is to conceal the author's identity from reviewers. Oct 23, 2017 at 23:13
  • In cases with just one author, often "the author" is used in place of "the first author". Oct 24, 2017 at 6:33

Another way to think about it is that "CC et al." and "Yossiri and CC" are also labels of the work, not just you, the researchers. CC isn't being redundantly named, two pieces of their work are being named. And you are talking about your previous work, not your self.

Alternatively, if you have another identifier for the work, like it's a system with a name like "FooSys", you could say something like "As we showed with our previous work on FooSys [Yossir and CC, 2016], the bars were 10x faster than the baz. FooSys proved that the thing was really thingy."


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