Stupid to ask to remove my name as author?

Discussion in 'Student Research and Publishing' started by warypremed, Aug 2, 2011.

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  1. warypremed

    warypremed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    So last summer I participated in a research internship at a well-respected institution. Basically, I'm damn glad this is now on my resume. I enjoyed the internship, although felt like I could have learned a lot more and didn't own up to my own potential.

    Well, a couple months ago I found out I am being coauthored for the paper that is in preparation. I was kind of shocked, to be frank. Personally, I do not feel as though I contributed enough to be a coauthor. But hey, it's the PI's choice and yay for me and my career goals, right? (I'm planning MD/PhD)

    I guess my question is: if I go to an interview, and they ask about this authorship and what my research experience was like, what I contributed, I can perfectly explain what my role was that summer and what we were investigating. I actually really enjoyed the research, and occasionally search through PubMed on the topic, glancing through titles just to get an idea of what's coming out in the field. When I have a chance I'll download some of the papers and read or sift through them. But how bad would it be for instance, if I was coauthored, then explained my role, and they felt it wasn't enough for authorship or they are surprised that the PI put me as coauthor? Would it be more detrimental than favorable for me to have that coauthorship? Maybe I'm just being paranoid or have low confidence in what I did that summer. I really won't know until the paper basically comes out as far as how much I exactly contributed; I live across the country, and doubt my PI needs my participation in the writing of the manuscript. I did email the PI a couple weeks ago because I wanted to inquire about it and ask if I could put it on my resume, and it ended up being okay. The PI gave me the authors, and I am second to last (right before the PI). The PI said that I'd get an update later on once they are ready to send it off for review.

    Does what I'm saying make any sense at all as to what my concern is? For instance, let's act out a scenario:

    ADCOM: So I see you have an authorship from this research experience. Why don't you explain how you ended up with this internship and what your role was in the paper.
    ME: Sure, well we were investigating blah blah blah and in that summer I learned various assays and experimentally did blah blah blah. [continue talking about what I got out of it, what I think about the research and field, blah blah]
    ADCOM: Okay, so that's all you did to contribute to this paper?
    ME: Yes.
    ADCOM: Okay then...

    So basically, is the blame going to be put on me that potentially, I was put as coauthor but did not contribute as much as the interviewer might think is necessary? Because who in their right minds will deny an authorship, am I right? Obviously if I felt like the research/study was completely wrong I might ask to remove my name, but I actually think the research was pretty awesome and the findings were pretty cool.

    Thoughts? :D
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  3. reflex

    reflex New Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    Well, when you look at the paper, can you see anything that you contributed (eg Figure or a Table)?

    Anyways, helping edit counts too!
  4. Nymphicus

    Nymphicus kane o ke kai Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2010
    SDN Author
    So let me get this are trying to get yourself not published when it is already all lined up AND you want to go MD/PhD
  5. K31

    K31 5+ Year Member

    May 10, 2011
    You don't really have to do all that much to get on a paper as 3rd or 4th author. If you made any contribution as far as data, you should be included on the paper.

    As long as you can point to some concrete contribution you made to the research in the paper during your time in that lab, it would be stupid to ask to be removed from the paper.
  6. warypremed

    warypremed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    I too question how I came to this rationale.

    Thanks for the tips. I think I just needed some reassurance that anything is something.

    ROBINHO Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 27, 2004
  8. Valadi

    Valadi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Haha dude. Relax.

    Adcoms want to know you actually understood what went on in the project and that you learned something from it. They're not there to question your PI's decision making process.

    Congratulations on the paper. This is good news - allow yourself to be excited and not worry!

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