Are single-author research articles looked down upon?

  • $\begingroup$ The question might be more suitable on academia.SE, but I'm far from certain it won't be closed and/or downvoted there as well. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ I think as the question is posed, the post is more suitable here than Academia, as single-author papers are much more prevalent in some disciplines like Anthropology than in the STEM sciences for example. In other words, this question is discipline-dependent. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ It's a better fit for academia $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


To target the question in the question body here:

This question is quite opinion-based, because everyone can decide to frown upon something. However, I think that, in general, it's much more about:

  • Who the author is, i.e., what is their track record in the field;
  • What their affiliation is;
  • What the quality of the article is;
  • What the quality (e.g. impact factor) of the journal is.

These considerations are, at least to me, much more important than how many authors follow or precede someone in the author list. I would never judge an article on the number of authors per se. Lastly, (invited) review papers are often authored by just one author, even in the STEM sciences.


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