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Corresponding Author vs. Reprint Requests

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by qwopty99, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    hey folks

    i notice in some scientific papers, where they list the correspondence info, it sometimes says,

    "Corresponding author: John Selmack, Dpmt of This, Univ That. USA."

    less frequently, it will say,

    "Reprint request to: John Selmack, Dpmt of This, Univ That. USA."

    these differences can be found in the same issue of the same journal.

    why are there two ways of denoting the corresponding author? are they implying that in the 2nd case, that particular author ordered reprints? why does that private information even matter to the readership?

    i can't think of any other "definition" that could lead to the difference.
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  3. strangeglove

    strangeglove 7+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    The corresponding author is an important position: the person to whom questions about the research are directed, the person who has to answer for the research. The person from whom reprints are to be requested is just that. If it is not the corresponding author, it is because replying to reprint requests is pain in the butt that many corresponding authors would rather leave to their post-docs/grad students/research assistants.
  4. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    you might be mis-interpreting my question.

    the same journal, in disclosing correspondence information, will EITHER SAY

    "Corresponding author: A. Egleton.... etc etc."


    "Reprint requests to: A. Egleton ... etc etc."

    it won't say both. it's one or the other. usually the 1st one, but sometimes the 2nd. and this occurs for different articles in the same journal.

    does this mean authors can CHOOSE which of the two they want i.e.they can choose NOT to reply to questions, and therefore be simply "reprint-givers". i've never heard of that choice. further, do we assume the "reprint-giver" ordered reprints?? afterall, how can u request for something the author doesn't have?

    i have samples of such articles in front of me right now, from respected SCI journals.
  5. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Both designations denote the corresponding author, i.e. the PI - the person ultimately responsible for the work. I don't know why they are sometimes listed one way or the other. Most people order reprints and just because it doesn't say "send reprint requests to" doesn't mean that the corresponding author does not have reprints. Requesting reprints is not very common anymore since everything is online. Most people use them when submitting grant proposals or giving them to interested people (students, post-docs, etc.) that they meet.

    Why do you ask? I wouldn't read too much into this. Most corresponding authors provide their email addresses, so if you have questions or want to contact them, send them an email. There is no rule that says anyone has to correspond with anyone. It is rude not to respond to an email, but there are no laws. If you email a PI with a question, they may forward it to the person that actually did the experiments. And there is no designation that makes someone just a "reprint giver."
  6. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    OK - i'll chime in with an update here.

    i actually think "Reprint requests to... " occurs when the authors order reprints. why? because i just co-authored something and one of us ordered reprints. the correspondence info is listed as "Reprint requests". whether this policy is universal, i don't know.

    seems like a pretty trivial distinction to me though.

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