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Is what I'm doing par for the course for RA-ships?

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This semester, I am a "floating TA/RA" for my department, which basically means any of my subfield faculty can call on me to grade quizzes, transcribe interviews, do library research, create bibs, summarize articles, read articles and send notes to profs, etc.

Officially, I'm billed as a TA. At my state school, RAs get 100% tuition remission and TAs get 71% tuition remission of instate tuition. The department cannot bill be as an RA.

I'm talking to my friend about it and she seems to think that I should be getting recognition for helping profs with their research, like being listed as a co-author whatever. Like one of my profs, for example, will be submitting an article for publication in the next month and she wants me to carefully read some sources for her and send her notes about how they got particular figures and what sources they used.

I was never told that I'd be a co-author on anything.

What is typical for RAs?

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This will vary widely by field, but in my field, you wouldn't typically be listed as a co-author unless you made a substantial contribution to the paper (e.g., helping to design or run the study, help with analyses, and/or co-write the paper). Editing, checking figures and sources, and other similar tasks wouldn't normally lead to co-authorship, but in some cases faculty may still add these students as a co-author despite convention. In some fields this may even be the norm and expected. If you want to be more involved in research projects and become a co-author, I would discuss this with faculty and see what additional opportunities might be available.

I would also speak with the program coordinator to learn more about the RA/TA billing situation. I think the answer to this will be specific to your program. In mine, funding is the same whether you RA, TA, or do both.

Edited by Meraki

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In my field, that kind of work would warrant you co-authorship with most the professors that I've worked with. I have done similar work without getting co-authorship even after it had been promised, but that was a special circumstance where they wanted to be able to make a unified positionality statement. I would ask about it, probably saying something like, "I was just wondering if there might be any opportunities for co-authorship through this work." I wouldn't say "I think I should get co-authorship for this work" because your field may have very different expectations. 

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