Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

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bruinfan10
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Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby bruinfan10 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:02 pm

Does anyone have experience co-authoring an article with a professor? A few associates at my summer firm have done it, and I'm curious as to the appropriate way to approach a professor about it. I can't think of a way to initiate the process without sounding presumptuous. I would imagine the easiest way is to get the faculty adviser for your Note on board (if you have one), but I still don't know whether they generally approach students about it, or vice versa.

bdubs
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Re: Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:10 pm

Most schools have a class that is supervised research. Go talk to professors with whom you share a common research interest and talk about it. It's normal to ask them to supervise the research as part of the course. If they like the work enough that 1) they think it's publishable 2) they are willing to put their name on it, then you have an opportunity to shop it to journals.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby bruinfan10 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:14 pm

I've done the supervised research course, got a good grade, it's in the prof's area, etc etc, but the prof is kind of a big shot in this field, and I need a rec letter from him, so I was hoping to get some opinions on whether it'd be off-putting to just come out and say "hey, want to co-author this with me?" If I hadn't met some people that pulled it off, I would have thought that was serious overreaching by a law student, but I guess it works out sometimes?

johnB86
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Re: Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby johnB86 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:22 pm

I co-authored a few papers with a prof. The relationship began as a Research Assistant position in which I had no expectation of being named as a co-author and was pleasantly surprised to be given a co-author line when we wrapped up research/writing. After that, the prof asked if I would write with him again for a follow up paper.

I am not sure if there is a tactful way to ask to co-author. I think if you take on a RA position or otherwise express an interest in helping, then do a good job, it may induce them to share the byline with you. You should be advised, however, that some profs may be reluctant to share credit with someone and will likely mention you in a footnote as opposed to sharing authorship.

Do good work and give them a product thats easily copy/pasted or otherwise incorporated into their work. The more they have to modify/supplement/polish your work, the less likely you are to be considered a co-author as opposed to a research assistant.

Good luck.

bdubs
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Re: Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:28 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:I've done the supervised research course, got a good grade, it's in the prof's area, etc etc, but the prof is kind of a big shot in this field, and I need a rec letter from him, so I was hoping to get some opinions on whether it'd be off-putting to just come out and say "hey, want to co-author this with me?" If I hadn't met some people that pulled it off, I would have thought that was serious overreaching by a law student, but I guess it works out sometimes?


Ask him if he thinks the paper you wrote can be turned into a publishable LR article. If he thinks it has potential the discussion might naturally lead to the benefits of having a professor's name on it, rather than just a student author.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Co-Authoring an Article with a Professor

Postby bruinfan10 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:29 pm

genius. i'll try that and report back.




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