Analysis II

...those who take the listed-second, alleged co-equal contribution author slot are like abused children or battered spouses with Stockholm Syndrome.

It is going to require professional help to bring them back to reality.

19 responses so far

  • Pinko Punko says:

    Now this is just trolling.

  • arrzey says:

    But such elegant trolling

  • anon says:

    I know people (yes, the plural, PEOPLE) who are 3rd and 4th co-first-authors. Wrap that one around your noggin.

  • becca says:

    Sometimes, your PI has an agenda such that the other author's data are "better" (i.e. more in line with past publications) , and you thus don't have any choice but to accept it, because if you insist on your data being used the PI will never publish it.

  • drugmonkey says:

    To be honest that makes more sense..everyone is co-equal!

  • gerty-z says:

    and everyone should get a trophy to take home and show their mommy

  • antistokes says:

    I would concur with your....opinion as to the general state of your field. ps my parents always said to listen to my chemistry profs....i have a horrible suspicion that they were right...

  • miko says:

    Do you think it's bad strategy to be second co-first author when you did in fact do much less work than the first co-first, but that your data were equally important to the ms? And would be difficult to publish separately?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Of course not miko.

  • Dude, you need to let go of your bizarre and unhealthy obsession with how other people run their labs. There is more than one way to do it.

  • Pinko Punko says:

    ^Haha- this is funny from the CPP online persona(e).

  • DrugMonkey says:

    There is more than one way to do it.

    I'm sure it will come to you eventually....

  • Spiny Norman says:

    There is an easier solution: the PI should be first author.

  • ninacat says:

    I think you need to re-think how science is actually done today--and get over that patriarchial view that there is one big guy and one other important person--and those in between are flyovers, whose contribution is minimal. In most labs today, there is a team--and the team contributes--and if one member is lacking, the study suffers. Ideas--not just technical expertise even-- can come from more than 2 people to make a study brilliant-- is this really too hard to imagine by supposedly smart people? Science would get better-not worse-if more PIs /scientists teamed up to actually attack the major issues. Don't you think if not for the egoism involved in --"who will be senior author/get the credit?!?" more would be accomplished-not less? Competition is great, but when it stifles ideas coming together because of one's cv and credit --it's ridiculous. I have heard people say---i know the problem/the answer/can contribute--but why should I when I will only be a middle author? Do you really think that only 2 people are thinking/contributing to a specific study? The people who need professional help are those who keep perpetuating the farce that there are only 2 "important" people involved in every study--no matter how great or small.

  • anon says:

    I'm about to get a co-first authorship paper out. All of the experiments and ideas are my own. My former mentor had very little to do with all of that. The other co-first author's contribution? He just made and submitted a construct to the transgenic core. All of the back-crossing and validation of the new mouse model was done by me. But, former mentor's rule is that whenever a new mouse model is generated, the person who made the construct gets first (or co-first authorship) on the manuscript on the first paper to come out describing the new mouse model.

    My only consolation is that my co-first author's name will be listed second.

  • physioprof says:

    But, former mentor's rule is that whenever a new mouse model is generated, the person who made the construct gets first (or co-first authorship) on the manuscript on the first paper to come out describing the new mouse model.

    This is a very standard practice in the field of mouse genetics.

    My only consolation is that my co-first author's name will be listed second.

    This is not a "consolation"; it is all that matters. For all purposes that matter, you are the actual first author and should not be concerned one iota about the supposed "co-first" author who is listed second.

    And note that no author contribution asterisks ever say "These two authors are both first authors". What they say is always something like "These two authors contributed equally" or whatever. So long as author lists are linear, there can be only one actual first author and you are it.

  • miko says:

    But, former mentor's rule is that whenever a new mouse model is generated, the person who made the construct gets first (or co-first authorship) on the manuscript on the first paper to come out describing the new mouse model.

    That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Some pipette monkey makes the construct and gets authorship at all? Let along co-first? I assume whoever makes your plates and media gets at least 2nd author, then? Or is that for whoever gets rid of the old the sharps container?

    I haven't made a construct in years -- strictly for roties and UGs. And within a few years, we'll get them all cost effectively by uploading sequence and direct synth and we can do away with the 70s-era NEB catalog nonsense forever.

  • drugmonkey says:

    When The value of relative contributions change over time like this it questions the original concept of the importance and contribution, does it not?

  • anon says:

    @miko: I'm with you on the "dumbest thing I've ever heard." In terms of the transgenic, it's a floxed construct that's been generated so that the mice overexpress a gene of interest when they also express Cre (the floxed sequence is for a reporter, just so we can genotype the mice). So, I crossed the mice with a pre-existing Cre and the dude who made the construct has actually never touched the mice at all. Nor does he have any expertise in the experiments that I designed to look at my tissue-specific overexpressing mice. Yes, making a construct is not hard. The most difficult part is getting the a viable expressing transgenic mice (from a core facility) and validating that the transgene is expressed under the right circumstances. He did none of that - just the DNA prep.

    @CPP: typically, transgenic mice are nothing more than reagents, in my field. Generating a construct is a piece of cake. The only reason why this guy made the construct and not me was that he was in the lab before I showed up and my former mentor didn't want to pay the transgenic core for a second round of pronuclear injection with another, similar construct. In fact, the dude never validated that the sequence was there, in its entirety, at the the genomic level in the mice. Just gave the core some clean DNA.

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