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I'm a postdoc in computational biology. I've been given the opportunity to choose if I want to be co-first author (listed second) or a co-corresponding author (possibly listed next-to-last or third from last) on a manuscript based on my contributions. It has been beaten into my head that postdocs looking for a job are judged by their first author publications, but I've also recently heard that having corresponding author papers highlights your ability to plan and supervise a study and may help you get a job. Which option is better and why? I'm already listed on a separate manuscript as the last (and co-corresponding) author.

1 Answer 1

If possible, you should aim to have both in your portfolio. Your goal as a postdoc is to show that you are as versatile and as talented as possible. First-author publications demonstrate your ability to do research; "last-author" or corresponding author publications show an ability to oversee research (although the former effect is stronger than the latter).