Academic affiliation in publishing a zombie paper
August 18, 2017 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I have a PhD in social psychology but have not been involved in academia for almost a decade. A paper that I assisted with in grad school is being polished up for re-submission and now the question has come up about how to list my academic affiliation. Complicating factor: as a freelancer, I'm unaffiliated with anywhere when it comes to research.

Pretty much as above. A paper that we wrote almost 15 years ago is being re-submitted by one of the other former students who worked on it. The advising professor has asked to be removed from authorship as he's been retired for 12 years and is out of academia entirely (he will be acknowledged in an authors' note instead). The (then) undergrad student (now full professor) who is now the first author is spearheading a resurrection of this paper as it's become more relevant given current events. He contacted me to let me know, as I'm now the third author. However, I've been out of academic research since earning my PhD. I've had several industry jobs but for the last year I've been freelancing as a research consultant.

So, what is appropriate to put as my affiliation? The first author thinks that we could put where I earned my PhD, but that feels inappropriate to me as I'm not actually affiliated with the institution anymore as a professor or student. If someone were to try to get in touch with me via searching at that institution, they'd quickly learn that I'm not currently there. This Academia Stack Exchange question suggests listing one as "independent researcher", but that doesn't really sum up my role in the authorship of the paper. Social science academics--what would you do?
posted by Fuego to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have a name for your research consulting business? Maybe you should get one - this is a little bit of advertising for you. List it as your affiliation, and then as a note maybe mention that the work was initially started in 2002 at whatever university when you were a student.
posted by dismas at 12:01 PM on August 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm not in social sciences, but I'm in academic publishing (biological sciences). For our journals, the affiliations list shows where a person was when the work was performed. We then add a footnote for people who are no longer at that institution (this happens all the time, though they are almost always at another institution). The footnote would say "Fuego's present address is:". We would also add a footnote if an author is deceased, though I've seen European journals where they put a cross next to a deceased author's name. I mention the latter only to show that journals have different rules.

It's quite likely that the journal where this is published will have specific rules about how they handle this sort of situation.
posted by FencingGal at 12:01 PM on August 18, 2017 [13 favorites]

Yes -- I suggest what @fencinggal said. The journal will have rules for this situation. Submit the paper with whatever affiliation seems expedient, then work out the details with the editor when/if it is accepted.
posted by OrangeDisk at 12:15 PM on August 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

The journals I publish in also want your affiliation to be where the work was done. It is assumed that many people leave and move on to other jobs, no big deal.
posted by Knowyournuts at 12:18 PM on August 18, 2017

I worked at an academic journal in the social sciences for years. FencingGal's suggestion is exactly what we would do unless an author specifically requested us to use their industry job as their affiliation.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:12 PM on August 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

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