The rule is that math.se does not allow monetary bounties for questions [1,2,3,4,5]. I think that makes sense.

Would it be reasonable/allowed to promise coauthorship of a paper as a "reward" for answering a question? To be clear, I do not mean adding the answerer to a paper that they have nothing to do with. Rather I'm thinking of a situation where the question relates directly to a (potential) paper and the answer is key to that.

More precisely: Would it be acceptable to add a paragraph to the effect of the following to a math.se question?

I need this lemma for the analysis of my algorithm for computing an approximate max-obscurity decomposition of a impotent $n \times n$ matrix in $O(n^2 \cdot 0.935^{\sqrt{\log_2 n}} \cdot \log^{28}(n))$-time. This is an important problem in my subsubfield of numerical colinear algebra.

Since I have been stuck on this lemma for some time and it is essential to the analysis, I think finding a proof would merit coauthorship of the resulting paper.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If I saw that paragraph in a question, it would set off my crank alarm so strongly that I would not even consider touching the question. $\endgroup$ – user296602 Sep 22 '17 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ @user296602 Fair enough. It could be worded more subtly, but I don't see it as unreasonable. Someone working in algorithms might need some help with a combinatorial lemma. I have had non-internet collaborations of this form. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Sep 22 '17 at 21:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In theory this could be nice, props for asking. Also, basic academic honesty dictates you would acknowledge such help as a matter of course. If the help is relatively major, then coauthorship would be on the table. But the word fantastic you used does trigger my crank alarm, too. If you are a graduate student or more advanced, then this would be ok. But if you seek to prove Collatz conjecture with a bit of high school algebra, and think you just need this little bit help here... Shudders. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Sep 22 '17 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvotes? $\endgroup$ – Thomas Sep 22 '17 at 21:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Downvotes on meta indicate disagreement, not bad question quality. $\endgroup$ – user296602 Sep 22 '17 at 21:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user296602 Thanks. I haven't posted on meta before, so I was wondering if that is the case. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Sep 22 '17 at 21:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have edited the question to make it clear that I'm (humorously) talking about some obscure research problem and hopefully make the offer sound more reasonable. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Sep 22 '17 at 21:12
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I would say: do not offer co-authorship in advance. However, after a solution is posted, then (If you still think it appropriate) ask the poster if you may include him as a co-author in your paper. But of course the answer could be:"Lang's textbook, page 233", and then you would cite the textbook, not the person answering here. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Sep 23 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thomas I think this is a valid question on meta, and glad that you asked it before immediately acting on it. I think @GEdgar has made a wonderful contribution, and I agree with the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 23 '17 at 20:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .