View Full Version : Advice on how to work with coauthors productively

11-24-2010, 01:28 PM
Hi everyone,

Some people have posted very useful information in the past weeks, especially related to the writing/advsing process. At least in my school, this is not the focus of graduate education, and I therefore found the contribution of others sharing their experience very valuable.

I was wondering, for anyone of you who was involved in co-authoring a paper, how did you go about working with your co-authors? How did you find them? How different is the relationship if you are working with faculty or classmates? How do you work if you are in different countries? Have you been involved in project with a "lead author", and if so, what difference does it make?

As a sidenote, I remember some advice posted here recently, so this thread is not about being anxious from the lack of publications, I just think that this forum could also be useful as a tool for learning and sharing across generations of TMers.

11-24-2010, 10:17 PM
I think this is a great thread! I don't have a lot of time to reply at the moment, but I'd suggest looking at Chris Blattman's post about how to transition from being an RA to being a co-author: RA versus co-author – Chris Blattman (http://chrisblattman.com/2008/07/01/ra-versus-co-author/)

11-27-2010, 07:33 PM
I worked as an RA for a professor doing my masters and it turned into a co-authorship deal. The paper had 3 of us working on it (a professor, an extension agent and myself) and the "authorship" part was really an afterthought. We all had equal input when we met for discussion and we each came from different backgrounds so we had very different perspectives from which to base our input. As an RA, I did most of the writing and data analysis, but had equal input on the instrument design, direction of the analysis, ect. The actual desicion of who was first, second and third author actually came at the end as almost an afterthought since we all had a significant contribution on the project. I think having different perspectives, voicing opinions/ideas and having constant communication between the three of us all contributed to a great experience in terms of productivity.