May 19, 2013
Deep South
Medical Student
Hey everyone!

My friend and I are medical students that completed an abstract to submit for an Abstract Day at our med school. It was for research that we did during the summer, and we are first authors (and there is a 2nd, 3rd, 4th author). I was wondering what is the proper way to recognize us as CO-First Authors on the paper.

Originally I assume this is all we did:

Last Name, First Name #1 and Last, First #2, 2nd author, 3rd author, etc

But after scouring the web (mostly unsuccessfully), I have seen directions about adding asterisks to denote co-authorship? This abstract presentation that we are entering is low key and not that important in the grand scheme of things, but I would like to have this done correctly for CV purposes

Thanks! I hope this was the right forum for this topic and that it wasn't a stupid question


Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
It's not a stupid question, but it doesn't have an easy answer. You can certainly do the asterisk thing on the abstract if it's OK with the selection committee. Just clear it with whoever is organizing the submissions. Maybe you are not the only one in this boat. In the paper or poster itself you can add a footnote to indicate that authors 1 and 2 equally contributed to the paper. For other suggestions, see this thread:

It's good that you're in this situation so early in your training. Try to avoid it in the future. :)
  • Like
Reactions: Statefan13