Monday, July 19, 2010

This post written entirely by Beaker Ben

But that's not true for academic papers. After working my students to the bone, annoying my collaborators with missed deadlines and generally being a pain in the ass, I like to share the glory of publication.

Here are my top ten reasons to add somebody as a co-author:

10. Undergrad washing the glassware and not break anything important
9. Owner of scientific instrument you need to use, who is paid only in co-authorships and citations
8. IT guy checking the log of websites you visited with your office computer
7. Student you are dating (hey, it’s cheaper than roses)
6. Foreign grad student doing all the work
5. Another student translating so that you can understand the results
4. Academic spouse, as payment for listening to you bitch about this project
3. Colleague finding out you are dating student from Reason #7
2. A real dick in your field who would rip the paper apart if he was the reviewer but is happy to get a piece of the action
1. Holden MaGroin, just because it would be funny to see in print


  1. 1. explains the stunning publication career of Dr. Hugh G. Rection.

  2. HA! He's the guy I was thinking of when I wrote #2.

    Well, I wasn't thinking about the name, just the guy. No, I wasn't thinking about a guy at all because I don't think about guys like that, I mean, in that way. Uh, not that there's anything wrong with that but

    I've made myself clear. I think I'll stop now.

  3. #1 puts me in mind of George Gamow tinkering with his doctoral student's paper by adding Hans Bethe to the list of coauthors and so creating the Alpher—Bethe—Gamow paper.

    It might have been a forgotten joke were it not for the fact that it was the first paper to propose a scenario for Big Bang nucleosynthesis.

    The icing on the cake is that the article was first published on April 1, 1948.


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