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Tips For Co Authoring Papers: How To Team Up Without Regrets

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.441.1 - 2.441.5

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Paper Authors

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Rick L. Homkes

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Kevin D. Taylor

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Russell A. Aubrey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 0575

Tips for Co-authoring Papers: How to Team Up Without Regrets

Kevin D. Taylor, Russell A. Aubrey, Rick L. Homkes Purdue University - School of Technology

Abstract This paper investigates successful methods of teaming with colleagues in publishing efforts. The selection of co-authors, starting the writing process, and the delegation of the responsibilities are discussed. The paper recommends that co-authors decide upon all details of the process prior to engaging in partnership. By discussing and deliberating these issues before initiation of the project, co-authors can avoid many problems.

The paper includes the steps and a timetable for creation of a successful paper. These steps are brainstorming, creating the abstract, building the first draft, editing, submitting and presenting the paper. Anecdotal scenarios of both successful and unsuccessful publishing efforts are presented. Past problems encountered with co-authors, such as incompatible writing styles and over commitments, are highlighted. We also cite some disastrous scenarios we have experienced.

Choosing a co-author After several “successful” and “less than successful” co-authoring efforts, we wanted to share some advice with those considering authoring for the first time. This advice may also apply to seasoned writers. By following the suggestions given, potential disasters and embarrassing situations can be avoided.

Choosing your co-authors may be the result of a discussion, a common interest, an innovative idea, or a collaboration on a project. Upon agreeing to co-author, you and your colleagues generally must make a verbal contract to share equally or unequally the labors of the effort. Before entering into the venture, each person must decide if the potential partners will actually perform to the standards set out in the verbal agreement. Simply saying “Let's write a paper” does not get the paper written.

The number of authors depends upon the depth of the subject and the potential ability for contribution to the topic. Too many authors can complicate the writing process and dilute the credit allocated. Senior faculty should help junior faculty in initiating their publishing experience. This is especially true of recently tenured associate professors. While junior faculty may perform the majority of the work, it is incumbent upon the senior faculty to guide them through the process.

Homkes, R. L., & Taylor, K. D., & Aubrey, R. A. (1997, June), Tips For Co Authoring Papers: How To Team Up Without Regrets Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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