Is it better to have single-author papers?

Would it be better to try and publish a paper in which I am the sole author, or would it be better to try and publish in collaboration with co-authored publications?
Analytical chemistry
The question of whether it is better to have single-author papers depends on several factors, such as the field of research, the type of study, and the research question. In some fields, such as the humanities, social sciences, or arts, it is common to have single-author papers. In other fields, such as the natural sciences, engineering, or medicine, collaborative research is more common, and it is often difficult for a single researcher to have the necessary expertise or resources to carry out a project alone.

Having a single-author paper has some advantages, such as:

  1. Clear ownership and accountability: A single-author paper clearly identifies the person responsible for the entire project, from conceptualization to execution to publication. This can make it easier to assess the impact of the research and evaluate the researcher's contributions.
  2. Independence: Single-author papers can reflect the individual's research vision, goals, and ideas without external interference or input.
  3. Efficiency: Single-author papers can be completed more quickly and with fewer communication difficulties, as there is only one person involved in the decision-making process.

On the other hand, collaborative papers also have advantages, such as:

  1. Diverse expertise and skills: Collaborative research can bring together researchers with different skills and expertise to tackle complex research questions.
  2. More resources: Collaborative research can provide access to more funding, data, and equipment than a single researcher might have access to.
  3. More perspectives: Collaborative research can incorporate different perspectives and approaches, leading to a more comprehensive and insightful study.

In conclusion, whether it is better to have single-author papers depends on the research context, the field of study, and the research question. Both single-author and collaborative papers have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision of which approach to take should be based on the researcher's goals, resources, and available opportunities.
Ali Tafazoli
It is good to have both single author and co-authored publications, at the same time.
Dr Zubida
Single authored paper is useful in some cases for examples expert opinine, review..etc.
The more co authors the better especially for a research articles since every author will bring his/her own perspectives and angle. 

Machado, S.
Writing an article with multiple authors can have many benefits. For example, each author can bring a unique perspective and contribute their own skills and knowledge to the work. Additionally, working as a team can help to divide the workload and make the writing process more efficient.

Rajat Sandhir
Depends on the contributions. If more people have contributed there would be more authors, but if only one contributed, it can be single. Reviews can be single authored.
Andres Trostchansky
The relevance is the peer review process, not how many authors a manuscript has
Vedha Hari
The review can be with a single author and the research paper with multiple authors and institutes gives reliability since many are involved.
There is no definitive answer to whether it is better to have single-author papers or co-authored publications. It ultimately depends on the nature of the research, the conventions of the field, and your personal preferences and goals.
Single-author papers can demonstrate independence, self-motivation, and mastery of the research topic. However, they may also be perceived as less collaborative, less diverse in perspectives, and less able to address complex problems that require multiple areas of expertise.
Co-authored publications can showcase teamwork, cooperation, and the ability to work with others to achieve a common goal. Collaborations offer opportunities for knowledge exchange, cross-fertilization of ideas, and access to resources that might not be available to a single author. Co-authoring papers with established researchers in your field can enhance your visibility and credibility as a researcher.
The choice of whether to aim for single-author papers or co-authored publications depends on your research goals, the expectations of your field, and the nature of your research. Researchers in many fields collaborate and co-author publications, while in others such as mathematics and philosophy, single-author publications are more prevalent. However, regardless of the chosen approach, the quality of the research and the contribution to the field remain the most critical factors.

Ian M. Davis
If the entire idea for the research was yours, if you did all the research and writing without substantive guidance from others, then it is inappropriate to add authors. Please reference the scientific integrity guidelines for major research universities like MIT and Stanford.
If one or more people worked with you in a substantive way to establish the idea for the research, helped with the research, and helped you write up the work, it is inappropriate to omit them from authorship.
Zaheer Afzal
It does not matter because at the end of paper there is mentioned the contribution of each and every author in that research.
Dr J Francis Borgio
Several variables, including the study field, the standards of the journal, and the career objectives of the individual researcher, determine whether single-author papers are preferable or not.

Generally speaking, single-author papers are less prevalent than multi-author ones. This is due to the fact that research is frequently a team effort, and several points of view can contribute to raise the calibre of a study. Single-author papers do have some benefits, though. For instance, they can show the researcher's unique knowledge and capacity to complete a project from beginning to end. They can also be a useful approach for young researchers to position themselves as authorities in their area of study.

If you can have a single-author work published, it can be a great addition to your resume and help you develop in your profession. But it's crucial to keep in mind that single-author articles aren't always the greatest choice. Working in tandem with other researchers could be more advantageous in some circumstances. It is ultimately up to you whether or not to publish a single-author study.
Dr Amarachi Nkwoada
Infact I encourage outgoing professors or researchers to put up together all there residual knowledge as single author review paper or Research paper. In addition an author maybe the pioneer of certain area of research within his organization, hence should be encouraged to publish if need be to stir up funding and collaborations
Chandrika Murugaiah
only a single author in my research, but I had to abide the forgery in university system under the authorship or publication guideline.
Sam Bolton
Some of the answers here make for depressing reading. Of course single author papers are a good thing. What’s worrying is the number of papers with multiple authors where only one or two people did 99% of the work. The current trend for multiple authors is partly a reflection of modern day power dynamics and the many ways that lead authors (often PhDs and post docs) are being over exploited for relatively poor pay. There is also the problem of pressure to collaborate to increase output. But my impression is this can have an effect of too many cooks spoil the broth. However, collaboration is extremely beneficial to those that are willing to overshare credit in the hopes that the favor will be returned, which it usually is. Hence there is currently a very strong cultural trend for large collaborations, but it has almost nothing to do with the quality of the science, which has diminished dramatically in recent decades. The rate of retractions has skyrocketed in the past decade or so, and this is largely because of strong pressure to produce lots of papers, many of which cite the author’s own work. Consequently quality has diminished and there is a new breed of scientists involved in combing through papers and detecting all the junk papers that made it past the reviewers. This is the place we are in. Meanwhile, the tiny number of single author papers are denigrated under the guise that science should always be collaborative. Einstein published his special and general theory of relativity as a single author. So no, science papers do not have to have multiple authors to be successful. Those who are against single authorship are more likely to have forged their reputation through the aforementioned power dynamics at play rather than through their capacity for innovation. Sorry to be blunt about this, but this is the reality in play, and it’s a very depressing one.
Reham ELTarabili
Co-authord publication is better than single due to team work and variety in specialists make publication better
Dr Victor

The decision to pursue single-author papers or co-authored publications in analytical chemistry, or any field, is nuanced and depends on various factors. Here are some key insights:

Field and Study Type: In fields like humanities, single-author papers are common, reflecting individual insights or theoretical work. In contrast, sciences often involve collaborative research due to the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of the studies.

Advantages of Single-Author Papers:

Independence and Clarity: Single-author papers showcase an individual's ability to conceptualize and execute research independently, offering clear accountability.
Efficiency: With only one decision-maker, the process can be more streamlined.

Benefits of Co-Authored Publications:
Diverse Expertise: Collaboration brings together varied skills and knowledge, enhancing the research's depth and breadth.
Resource Sharing: Access to more extensive resources, including funding and equipment, is often easier in collaborative settings.
Networking and Learning: Working with others provides opportunities for professional growth and learning from peers.
Contextual Factors: The choice also depends on personal goals, the nature of the research, and the norms of the specific academic community. For instance, early-career researchers might benefit from co-authored papers for networking and learning, while established researchers might publish solo papers to assert their authority in a niche area.

Quality Over Quantity: Regardless of the authorship model, the focus should always be on the quality of research and its contribution to the field. Both single-author and co-authored papers can be impactful if they present rigorous, novel, and valuable insights.

Ethical Considerations: Authorship should accurately reflect contribution. Inflating author lists without substantial contribution is unethical, just as excluding deserving contributors is.

In summary, both single-author and co-authored papers have their place in academic research. The choice should align with the research's nature, the researcher's career stage and goals, and the ethical standards of authorship.
Better than what? If the report involves contributions from more than 1 person, multiple names are needed. If only one person was involved, more names are not needed.  
I honestly prefer collaboration and teamwork, so manuscripts with more than one author are my preference. However, single author letters to editors or professional opinions are also appreciated.
Akhilesh Kumar
Though the advantages of a single author research is comfortable and at the same time convenient and more efficient, it brings certain disadvantages which from the research point of view is far more important. The benefits of collaborative research and idea and work brings out the better among the group with lots of room for discussion and modifications. 
It depends on your area of research. Large scale studies / research require collaborations and that is considered a skill to acquire to be able to coordinate / collaborate with multiple researchers / experts. 
In my opinion, it depends from the research and from the kind of publication. For original articles in life sciences, single authorship is not very credible. For review papers dealing with a focused topic, it is a great achievement for the single author (in case the work receives many citations).

I believe single authorship is fine in an area where you are the only expert. However, collaborating with colleagues and partners (interdisciplinary research) is the way to go. 
For the reaserch paper, it is rare personal work; team spirit is dominant in scientific research. 
There are certain fields/problems where single-author papers are required and that is good. For example, cases are there where Nobel laureate scientists publish single-author papers in highest impact Journals (Science/Nature; Ref, Google Scholar). 
But nowadays inter-disciplinary research is more demanding. This type of problem uses multiple tools/procedures, which are difficult for one person to deal with. So single-author paper means a simple-problem with less depth. It is no good.  
Therefore, except in special cases (as above), an integrated problem, in general, should be done by several experts together i.e., single-author paper is no good. 

Niaz Muhammad
Well it depends. However, in sciences usually team work is more beneficial. 
Giovanni S,
Absolutely not!! Science is done in teams. Individual authors may be accepted for editorials or comments to the editor but not for scientific publications. 
All manuscripts, either research or review require teamwork, though there may be exceptions in the case of review articles. The main author or the corresponding author must genuinely acknowledge the team by giving due authorship. The more number of authors may positively or negatively affect the quality of the manuscript. But the number of authors in a manuscript does not determine its readability or citation.
Any citation will be quoted as A; A and B or A et al. depending on the number of authors. Hence as far as citation is concerned, primarily the first author is important and to a great extent the corresponding author. Otherwise the number of authors in a manuscript can be n.    
Виталий Бекенев. Коллективные экспериментальные работы нужно публиковать в соавторстве, а обзорные - можно одному, можно в соавторстве. Однако, во многих научных учреждениях имеются факторы, похожие на коррупцию. Так, нужно включать в соавторы своего начальника, директора института, иначе он не пропустит статью или будет мешать экспериментам.
It depends on the scenario. Since I am from cancer biology background, in my experience, the results are reliable, concrete, and unbiased when we collaborate with experts in the field, and in that case, it is ideal to have co-authors. However, if it is an expert's perspective or editorial, single author paper is also fine. 
Dr. Saeed Akhtar
I believe that research is a team work and it is hard to execute any research project or even an experiment by a single person. Moreover, those people who contribute a little to the project are also as important contributors as the single person is. Also, a single author research article can be un-reliable because if an article is going through a team of authors it could come with more authentic information. However, it has been observed recently that the open access publishing has brought authors in a hardship and a single author, particularly from poor countries can not pay such amounts and thus thse authors sale authorship for papers. This is again a question on the reliablity of information dissiminated.  

Though major part of work is done mainly by one author only but i think having many authors can add up increasing the rationale and efficiency of a paper,multidisciplinary approach is always better. 
Yasir Javed
Manuscripts especially experimental work is usually collaborative and credit to one author may not be justified. Therefore, multiple authors can give more diversity with expert opinions in their relevant section.
K. Kannan
Single authored papers are good for perspectives, opinions, reviews, view points etc.  Research cannot be done in isolation these days and therefore research papers should and could have multiple authors.  White papers that reflect collective views of a group should have multiple authors.
Muammar Qadafi
I Prefer doing collaborate with other researchers in every research and publication 
Naveed AHmad
I think not in all cases like review paper can be single author while a research paper should be collaborative because by doing this new ideas share to each other.
Mohamed Hassaan
as Abdelhaly mentioned at the tope it depends on several factors, such as the field of research, the type of study, and the research question. more over it will depend on yiur self if yiu have the necessary expertise or resources to carry out a project alone. for my self I prefer to work in team and even  busy professors cannot do it alone only if its prespective or edidtorial that he can manged it.
so first choose and define your point and you will have the write choise, 

pour qu'un article soit publié sous le nom d'un seul auteur, c'est possible si l'auteur lui même fait tout le travail, la rédaction ainsi que la soumission 
Mais deux ou bien trois sera mieux.
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. However single author is considerable for review paper, but research paper reflects findings and it has to have more collaborators then.
So team work and multi author contribution is necessary for research work, and if only review is to be presented then single author is also fine.
Zaki Safi
It depends on the field of study. Some papers need single author and others need many authors.
Personally I suggest to publish in collaboration than single author. I heard that there are institutions requiring sole authored articles for promotion. However, I promote a team work as a Scientist.
Being a sole author in Science means one lacks  in networking and collaboration. Therefore it’s necessary to have multiple authors with real contributions. 
Dr Ritika Sharma
Though such question arise in everyone’s mimd, but i guess more collaborators in the paper attract the attention of readers. It has more impact as compared to paper published with single author
The work is better written and proof read when it is multiple author. It is quiet tedious carrying out scientific research alone and will not give the best quality. However, you can do a mini review as a single author
Anton Dolzhenko
It strongly depends on the field. In some areas and for some publication types (opinions, reviews, chapters), sole authorship could be meaningful showing that you take full responsibility for the opinion presented in the manuscript. 
I am also often puzzled by what a dozen of co-authors (or even more) did for a rather straightforward single-focus review paper. The suspected malpractice in the authorship leads to the question of how much we can trust the content. 
In some disciplines it is highly recommended to have a single-author paper. They show your "independence", "creativity", and prove your "writing skills". Many employers look for such abilities. If you can publish a paper on your own, do not hesitate. Ask others to join if their presence has an "added value". If they are familiar with a technique or have a revolutionary idea, they can push the paper's impact up. Otherwise, having a string of authors has no benefit for you. 
Eric K.
Seeing the question is marked under "Analytical Chemistry", as a chemist my answer is:
1. You want to TRY and PUBLISH? Trying is up to you, publishing is not. Usually in the end the question becomes "which journal first will agree to publish the paper?".
2. Decisions of this type rest with the lead author (PI). If you are NOT the PI, you really do not have a say in it. Usually the lead author recruits juniour researchers to do the work in the paper. All scientific publishers have a clear criteria who should be an author and who should not. A part of the responsibilities of the lead author is to faithfully put all team members who contributed significantly to the work as co-authors. Depending on the nature of the study, more than 1 are usually required. If the study is highly multidisciplinary, there maybe even a few collaborating PIs each of which will bring their own team of workers. 
3. Even if the study can be performed by one person, usually it is more efficient to have a team working on it so it can be pushed out of the door faster. All scientific topics worthy of working on are highly competitive, and the one who publishes first usually gets all the credit and fame. Patents are also awarded on whoever submits them first.
4. It is far better to be one of 10 authors of a highly consequential paper that will get cited 1000 times in the next 10 years than the sole author of one that will be cited 10 times. Generally, take any paper you can get, forget irrelevant questions like this one. Because of point 3, single author papers do not pay out career-wise in the long run in STEM fields. 
Dr Endale Mulugeta
It depends your experties on the specific paper. For example, what is your status now with related work? Are you an expert in having such papers? It is okay to have both Single and Co-authored papers, I recommend a group work
Dr. Arehalli Manjappa
It's not possible always. So, substantial contributors only should be included as authors.
Ahmed Alengebawy
It depends on many factors. For example, what is your position now? Are you an expert in having such papers? Or still a student. Also, the field is theoretical or practical. It is better to have both Single and Co-authored papers. Good luck!
Azevedo,Luís Peres
Depends on the complexity of the work
Saira siddique
No, more than one author is more better option..because when research work and research paper is done by more authors, they did their work on chunks rather than a single person has performed the whole done work on chunks never exhaust the workers and they performed their duties more effectively 
Md. Habibullah-Al-Mamun
It  depends on several factors, including but not limited to field of research, the type of study (field/lab), and the research question, etc. Both options have some advantages and disadvantages. Multi-author papers are more reliable, I beleive.
All depends on the contribution of each co-author. If you work alone, then no need for co-authors. if people have scientifically contributed to the work, then they deserve being co-authors (and you must mention the contribution of each author). 
It all depends on the field of research. However, single author papers (at least a high quality review in peer reviewed journal without APC) should be made mandatory for promotions beyond Assistant Professor. 
Both are good. As a novice researcher or a student, it is better to start publishing with the collaboration of seniors and under the supervision of professors/researchers to learn from their experience and avoid regrettable mistakes. Once the researcher gets to know the right path and is able to handle and lead research alone, it's good to try such a challenge to publish a single-author paper. A single-author paper published in a high-ranking journal is a strong point for the author's profile and career. 
Dr. Sharada Mallubhotla
In Biological Sciences it is not possible to have single author paper of good quality and readability. The equipments are so expensive that a researcher has to resort to developing collaborations!
Prof. Amit
for monographs, review article, opinion, letter to editor: single author is ok
for research studies: definitely no for single author
Dr Kebede
I am inclined to say No. Science is collaborative. Sole authorship can be useful for expert opinion pieces. A multi-authored papers are more likely to be good quality and attract more citations. Single-athored papers are more likely to be less rigorous, fraudulent, more likely to have image manipulation and based on fake data.  There is enough evidence on that. 

Rafia Azmat
Yes, it is better to have a single Author paper in the theoretical field, but the scientific field requires lots of work to conduct, starting from the initial stages to the final finishing of experimental work, followed by a literature search to validate the outcomes.  It requires support from CoAuthors that may, be students or colleagues.  
Single authored paper may reflect may reflect the strong skill of the author, however, team work to accomplish a paper is much better, each of whom can add another dimension to the work.

Adam Zwickle
Very field specific. In my field single author papers are rare. I received tenure without a single author pub. 
Dr Parvaiz Koul
No.. Ideas are better executed when the brains work together. A single brain may be brilliant but can never substitute for 2 brains.
Nihed Ben Halima
YES. It would be better to publish a single-authored paper partiuclarly for review article.
If its a novel idea or sole opinion then single authorship may be fine. Else relevant co-authors with substantial contributions is better.
  1. The vast majority of published research papers don't advance research or only very marginally, whether from single or multiple authors.
  2. The only recognized way to evaluate the quality of a research paper, i.e. to evaluate its potential for advancing research in general, is the peer-review process. Since the peer-review process does not care at all about the number of authors, one can only assume that the number of authors is not an indicator of quality in any way.
Working solo or with a team is not a matter of quality of the outcome in general, it's a matter of:

  • research topic: some topics require a diversity of skills or an amount of work which cannot be carried out by a single person. On the other hand some topics require a deep thought process which is more likely to happen in a single brain.
  • personal preferences and finding the right collaborators: in research like in many other things, things often happen in this way or that way just because of circumstances.

Rolf Teschke
Teamwork with a few co-authors is important, but once in a while publish alone, so everyboda can see what you thing.
Nouhoum Bouare
It depends on the manuscript type and the burden or field of research work. Secondary publications or clinical case study may be written by one author, while a survey, prospective, or clinical trial are intended to be performed by several authors (co-authorship is needed).
It is not really better or worse. If the work was done by you independently, you have gotten a single-author paper there.
Anju Manuja
Depends on the contribution. But usually multidisciplinary approach provides good team work, subsequently research and publication. Though leader and main worker is generally one.
Dr Jelena Ćirić
No, all papers are the results of teamwork!

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