I wrote the majority of a paper about a topic that I have special expertise in, along with several other people who are much more highly ranked than me. Two other people working on it left a lot of comments and did lot of editing, but I wrote most of it, and spent by far the most time on it. When the paper came out, it had the names of the three people I worked on it with as authors, but not mine.

I will mention that I work for a large public accounting firm, which tend to be very hierarchical.

Should I ask for them to put my name on the paper?

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    Have you asked them why your name was left off? Perhaps that will give you some ideas on what to do next. You may not agree with their reasons for leaving off your name, but at least you would know the reasons. – Masked Man May 13 '18 at 5:28
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    Which country are you in? – Sascha May 13 '18 at 7:43

Different companies have different policies for that, but normally your name (i.e. the name of the main author) gets included even though you are frequently expected to add the names of your supervisors, including those who didn't participate in the writing process at all.

Your first step should be to ask your boss or HR to explain you the policy followed in your company for naming authors in publications.

Then act accordingly. If the main contributor's name normally gets included ask them why yours wasn't.

The fact that you are much lower in the hierarchy doesn't explain much. Because to get higher in the hierarchy it makes sense for you to make a name for yourself among others by publishing papers. I've seen plenty of papers published by companies where it was clear that the paper was written by a junior but also had some senior managers' names on it.


If the paper was published in a scientific journal, these tend to have guidelines on authorship. In general the usual question here is if you structured/gave big parts of the content the paper, or if you did some work which did not add any knowledge to the topic. So before talking to anybody, consult these guidelines to see what is being said there.

On the practical question whether you should your name to be included, it depends mainly on the lived practice in the company, your status (as seen by your boss), your exact function and the legal situation, and how valuable being an author is to you.


As an employee, your works are property of the company. It's nice if you could add your name onto the paper, but the company doesn't have any obligation. Unless the company defaulted on paying you, you have no control over your company's assets. It's not your paper, you were paid to work on it. It's like a programmer being hired for writing code.

Good job for your works on the publication, but that doesn't mean you deserve any credits other than what already stated in your employment contract (e.g. salary).

Please don't do anything silly. Your behaviour is close to stealing company's assets. Don't go into that.

No, you shouldn't ask for your name because it’s not your paper.

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    I'm surprised at the downvotes on this. Can anyone who downvoted add a comment to explain? Do people actually disagree with this answer? – dwizum May 14 '18 at 13:21
  • @dwizum Please upvote my answer if you believe it's helpful. – QuantFinance May 14 '18 at 13:33
  • While my language is harsh, but it's reality. It's like a paid programmer trying to claim authorship for a software that she writes, like "Microsoft Word - done by XXX". It doesn't work like that. The company chooses who to give credits. – QuantFinance May 14 '18 at 13:45
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    @dwizum I downvoted because I don't think it's a useful answer to the asked question. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's a good idea, or unreasonable to want to change it. It is not like "a programmer being hired for writing code"; it's more like "a programming being hired for writing code and then publicly crediting another person". – Martin Tournoij May 15 '18 at 1:03
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    -1 For the same reasons as Carpetsmoker, and because of "Your behaviour is close to stealing company's assets". Utter nonsense. Unless I have missed an incriminating comment by OP, his/her behavior is nowhere near "stealing assets". – Jim Clay May 15 '18 at 4:34

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