Institutional affiliation for a paper where I worked as a consultant?
February 21, 2017 10:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm an author on an academic paper. My involvement with the paper was as a paid data analysis consultant to the first author (who's based at a university). Half of this (part-time) consulting was while I was unemployed, the other half was as a side gig while I had an unrelated full-time job. How should I list my institutional affiliation on our submission?

The options I can think of are:
1) List the organization where I'm full-time employed. This feels weird because they had nothing to do with this work, but I do do other research for my full-time job.
2) List the university, since they're the ones who paid for my work. This feels weird since I otherwise am not affiliated with them.
3) List myself as "independent"?
posted by c'mon sea legs to Work & Money (4 answers total)
You are not required to list an affiliation when publishing a paper. Email the editor of the journal (or ask your coauthor to do so) and ask what their preference is if you are not affiliated with an academic institution. They will have a house style for this.

Definitely don't do (2). This could be seen as fraudulent. And don't do (1) unless you check with your employer.
posted by lollusc at 10:21 PM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I have written papers with students after they graduated and no longer had institutional affiliation, we went with Jane Student, HerCity, ST (and I was Leahwrenn, Department of..., University of ..., MyCity, ST).
posted by leahwrenn at 9:16 AM on February 22, 2017

You are not required to list an affiliation when publishing a paper.

As true as this is, the acceptability of the practice is dependent on your field. In my field, it wouldn't matter whether my full-time employer was involved in the work or not. Disclosing that I work for them would be a must. That's not just a generalization--some of the journals I've published in have said so, clearly and directly. This has been managed in different ways, not always as an author affiliation right up at the beginning of the paper. About half the time, it's listed as a potential conflict of interest disclosure after the paper's discussion.

I agree with lollusc: check with the editor first, and your full-time employer second.

Congrats on getting the manuscript to a point where you need to ask this!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:23 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I should add that, on some occasions when I've done data work I'm listed in an acknowledgment section of the paper rather than as a principal author. As in, "The authors thank LADH, Title,, for (description of technical work)."
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2017

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