top of page

Distinction of First and Corresponding authors and their main roles

First author is usually the student /researcher who has undertaken the research work. First author is often also referred as the presenting author. He /She is responsible for doing the research practically along with the co-authors who might assist him/ her in the research work or might be the colleagues from the same work group. He is also responsible for preparing the manuscript and analyzing the data. Corresponding author is usually the senior author who provides the intellectual input and designs and approves the protocols to be followed in the study. He is responsible for the manuscript correction, proof reading, whole correspondence during the paper submission, handling the revisions and re-submission of revised manuscripts upto the acceptance of the manuscripts. This is the usual practice in most cases.

In some cases, when the work is done in collaboration with some other institutes, the actual researcher or the first author and corresponding author remains the same, but co-authors increase depending on the number of helping hands in the paper along-with the senior collaborator or senior scientist with whom you liaised with.

I would like to focus on other side also. There are some institutes also where corresponding author becomes the first author also. The person doing the work or the actual researcher/ Student becomes the second author or even a co-author also. This is, in my opinion, unethical or injustice on part of the actual researcher/ student. But this practice is prevalent in some institutions and the students are bound to stick to it being the beginners in most cases.

Another situation which I have seen in some institutes is that the head of the institute or the director is a part of every paper arising from that institute, no matter it is relevant with him/her or not.

So this are the practices prevalent regarding the authorship (inclusion of names in research papers). I do hope that this small idea provides a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the first and the corresponding authors of a manuscript.

bottom of page