Writing in a group

Articles are often written in small groups, which makes it possible to include the views of several people. Writing articles together with co-authors is a good way to obtain necessary feedback for your research. In addition, it is possible to have others to comment on your work, for example by offering favours in return. However, dynamic group work cannot afford freeloaders; everyone involved must have something to offer. Different types of capabilities and backgrounds can be a strength. Nevertheless, working for the same project does not mean your name will automatically appear among the authors of the article, as all the authors are required to provide a positive contribution to the realisation of an article. Also, note that some journals limit the number of authors (e.g. four). As a rule of thumb, it is beneficial to include your supervisor as a co-author, if you are a doctoral student. This way you show respect and acknowledge the help you receive as well as maintain the work relationship.

Seeking for feedback is vital for learning and putting together a good article. This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended for researchers to cooperate closely. This cooperation can mean either writing together, or commenting on the text written by others. From the perspective of effectiveness, it is important to ask for feedback on small increments and as frequently as possible. This way the feedback is more precise and easier to utilise. You should start seeking for comments already at the stage when you only have an initial idea for an article. This can be done, for example, by using PowerPoint slides. Your colleagues, or a supervisor, can comment on your slides, providing valuable feedback very early.

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