Authorship change on conference paper after conference program is printed


I have very little experience with "talk only" conference papers (and, as jakebeal correctly asks, why is it a paper if there is no paper?), but generally, the ordering of authors (or even who is an author) of a conference submission has very little to do with who prepares the presentation or who actually does the talk.

Rather, the order on papers is usually either alphabetical or by some measure of "who did the most work" for the actual research that is being presented. Hence, a change in who presents a paper (which often happens, due to time constraints, visa problems, illness, ...) usually does not require a change in the order of authors, as the underlying work (and who did it) has not changed.


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Updated on July 22, 2022


  • Guest
    Guest 10 months

    I am a coauthor on a psychology conference paper that was accepted based on a short abstract. The first author became unable to attend the conference and offered the opportunity to present to the coauthors. I accepted and later found out that I need to prepare the slides and text for the presentation.

    The first author had presented similar material to a very different audience (a practitioner audience in a workshop setting in Spanish) and offered me the slides from that presentation. The material needs considerable reworking: it needs to be adapted for a researcher audience; have a theoretical framework integrated; be shortened considerably; and be written in (or translated to) English. I should also say that I made scientific contributions to the overall project and these particular results.

    My colleague agreed that given the extent of the changes, I should be first author (up from fifth author where I am currently) and he second (remaining authors unchanged). He contacted the conference organizers with the request, but the conference program has already been finalized. The first author believes that this means that no authorship changes can be made, but I am not sure.

    There will be no conference proceedings, so the conference program is the only documentation, other than the presentation slides and any documents we distribute.

    Can authorship changes be made in the presented version of a conference paper even if the conference program is already finalized? Can we list the paper on our cvs differently from how it appears in the program? Are there any written guidelines on this topic?

    • jakebeal
      jakebeal over 8 years
      If there are no proceedings, is it really a paper?
    • Danny Ruijters
      Danny Ruijters over 8 years
      Why do you care that much about the order of the authors for an abstract+presentation only conference?
    • JeffE
      JeffE over 8 years
      If there is no paper, then there are no authors.
  • Guest
    Guest over 8 years
    Just to clarify, it is quite common to present papers orally in psychology with no published version following. In fact, in my experience psych conferences rarely publish proceedings with the full papers. Thanks for your answer, which helps spell out some of the issues involved.
  • xLeitix
    xLeitix over 8 years
    @Guest I guess we just find it highly weird to call a conference submission a "paper", if there is no actual paper.