Friday, July 08, 2005

Marxism Gone Bad

Dear Sir,

I appreciate your comments on my paper. I'm sure they were informative and insightful, and I now feel a little better that you will be listed as an author since you now meet one of the requirements for authorship. Since I've learned to choose my battles wisely (or maybe because I'm sick of arguing), I will ignore the fact that you still do not meet all of the requirements for authorship.

As I was sifting through your provocative and creative suggestions, I realized that I need to ask you a question. Why did you write your comments in Russian? I was under the impression that if you are collaborating with someone on a paper, you are collaborating with both the first and last author. As I am the first author, it would make sense to write the comments in English, my language of choice. The few words of Russian that my grandmother taught me 20-years ago are, most likely, not words that you would use for commenting on a scientific paper (unless you said that my writing was shitty).

Thank you,


At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

P.S. - Ditto from Jessica!

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...


I used to work for a medical journal that publishes the contributions of each author -- conception, data gathering, analysis, writing, revising, etc. Authors selected these categories themselves on a form, and the first author often had a substantially different view of how the other authors actually contributed. Often, though, to avoid any altercations with their colleagues, the first authors often just let the self-selected contributions stand.

Good luck with your Russian coauthor!

At 7:40 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I'm just starting to learn this whole bizarre world of writing papers, authorship, and the politics that bind us all. That's interesting that authors got to select their own contributions--I wonder what my co-authors would pick.


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