Is co author second author in a two author paper


Solution 1

The corresponding author is the author who corresponds with the journal and receives all correspondence regarding the manuscript after it has been published. This role is independent of author order. In some disciplines it's common that the first author has this role and in others it's the last author who does it. But any of the authors can be corresponding author.

Solution 2

To the best of my knowledge (and at least in the field in which I work), the author order in the manuscript is authoritative -- if you're the first author there, you're the first author. (To put it another way, I would feel entirely happy to defend my first authorship at an academic job interview on such a basis.)

By contrast, the definition of a co-author is somewhat context-dependent -- it can either mean any one of the people who jointly authored a paper (including, potentially, even the first author), or it can mean one of the authors other than the first author, or (as apparently in this case) it can mean one of the authors other than the corresponding author. As such, I would have thought that the journal is entitled to refer to you as a co-author in that sense if it wants to, but it doesn't affect your actual position in the author order.

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Updated on July 23, 2022


  • Admin
    Admin 6 months

    I did post doc in a university where i did experiments. Later after i rejoined job, i worked on it for 2 years, developed analysis methods and together with prof through communication by mail send it to a reputed journal with the prof being the corresponding author. The mail from the journal forwarded by the prof to me says that my prof is the corresponding author and i am the co author. Does it mean that i am the second author? In the manuscript i am the first author and my prof is the corresponding author and second author. Kindly clarify.