Authorship and Mentoring Policies


When submitting your article, all authors must be listed. Authors should be listed in descending order of involvement in the article. If three people authored the paper, the principle author should be listed first, followed be the second and third author (e.g. Jane Doe, John Doe, Jane Smith). An author is considered anyone who explicitly wrote a portion of the paper or anyone who contributed heavily in editing and the like. If two or more authors contributed equally, it is the discretion of the authors to decide whom should be listed first, second, etc. A note may be included to say “authors contributed equally to the paper” if desired. A mentor may be listed as an author (see below).


A mentor is someone who advises a research project. A mentor deserves credit on a publication if they request it, although many mentors allow undergraduates to publish without listing themselves as an author. Mentors must sign-off on submissions and final publications. If you complete a project without a mentor, this must be indicated.

Below are some explicit examples of who may be considered a mentor:

  • If your work was conducted in a laboratory, the principle investigator (PI) is a mentor for your submission.
  • If your work was funded by a student grant, the mentor listed on the grant is a mentor for your submission.
  • If your work was funded as part of a larger grant (e.g. NSF or DOE grant), the PI is a mentor for your submission.
  • If you were paid for the work that led to your submission, your employer is a mentor for your submission.

If your work was completed as part of coursework, your instructor may be listed as a mentor, but this is not required.