Ok, this is the post where I hope all lurkers will come out and give their opinion.
Someone I worked with in the past has asked me to help write a couple of scientific papers, and has offered to pay me for it. This person is not a very good writer and apparently thinks I am (I'll take that compliment anytime). The individual in question would send me the results of the research (draft figures and tables), and I would do the writing (i.e. literature review, results, discussion, and conclusion). It is a field that I worked in for a number of years, so I'm fairly familiar with the background.
I cannot accept pay for two reasons:
1. I cannot legally work in any other capacity than as a graduate student.
2. This individual is a good friend, who has helped me out tremendously in the past, and it just wouldn't be right to accept money.
A colleague has suggested that in lieu of pay, I ask to be a co-author on the papers. To the best of my knowledge, it is not normally done to include people as authors, unless they have actually done some of the experiments (the main exception to this often being the principal investigator, who presumably is the main brain behind it all).
What do you think I should do? Should I ask to be a co-author, or just do this (it is a lot of work!) out of the goodness of my heart? Or should I not get involved at all. Comment away. Let it be known that my husband thinks the last option is the best. In his opinion I'm way too busy working on my own degree, and trying to take care of my family to be spending time writing someone else's papers.
I agree with Mano and Nina
1 hour ago