Who is the author of your paper? Honestly

Usually, a photograph has a single author, i.e. the person who actually took the photo. For example, the below picture would say: Photo by PL. The same is true for a painting, a symphony or a novel, even for past scientific discoveries such as those of Newton, Darwin or Einstein.

Modern science has different rules. Using current scientific criteria, the authors of the same picture would be PL, EG, JB, WK, OK, EG, TH, GF, ERT, HGR, EF, KI, MK, JL, ED, DS, JK, MB, SW, BV, CD, HS, AD, MI, FR, WC, OK, TF, LB, CX, FW, SZ, BC, JH, UF, SD and QE. The role of each author would appear in a footnote saying:

  • PL and EG conceived the picture
  • PL took the photograph
  • JB suggested to avoid backlight
  • WK advised to use a UV filter
  • OK agreed with composition and color
  • EG and TH edited the image in Photoshop
  • GF loaned the camera
  • ERT provided the tripod
  • HGR supplied the memory card
  • EF raised funds for the portfolio
  • KI is the owner of the studio
  • MK is the boss of PL, EG, JB and WK
  • JL was the mentor of PL in the past
  • ED is the husband of EG
  • DS, JK, MB and SW need to enhance their portfolios to obtain grants and promotion
  • BV and CD are young photographers willing to do dirty work in exchange for authorship
  • HS, AD, MI, FR and WC asked to be co-authors and offered co-authorship in their own photographs
  • OK, TF, LB, CX and FW appear in the photo
  • SZ and BC liked the photograph
  • Renowned photographers JH and UF were asked to be listed to assure success
  • SD and QE are renowned photographers who were listed without asking
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Posted in Journals, Science

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