7 Essential Steps for Changing Author Affiliation in Research Paper

Change Author Affiliation in Research Paper

As researchers traverse their academic journey, their affiliations may undergo changes due to new opportunities, collaborations, or career advancements. While the process of publishing research papers often involves meticulous attention to detail, unforeseen circumstances can occasionally lead to inaccuracies in affiliations associated with a published paper.

As a researcher, you might have encountered situations where you needed to update your affiliation on an already published research paper. Whether it’s joining a new institution, relocating to a different country, or transitioning to a different research group, it’s essential to ensure that your affiliations accurately reflect your current standing in the academic community. In this blog post, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the process of changing affiliations in already published research papers.

Emphasizing the importance of adhering to publication policies and maintaining accuracy in scientific literature, this guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of correcting affiliations. We’ll explore how to initiate the correction process, gather the necessary documentation, and interact with journal publishers in a professional manner. Furthermore, we’ll touch upon considerations for more substantial changes and address the significance of updating personal profiles and notifying indexing services.

By sharing insights and best practices, we hope to empower researchers to navigate the affiliation change process smoothly and responsibly. Ultimately, this blog post aims to contribute to the integrity and reliability of scientific literature, ensuring that affiliations accurately represent the journeys and contributions of researchers in the ever-evolving realm of academia.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of updating affiliations in published research papers, and equip ourselves with the knowledge to make necessary corrections with confidence and efficiency.


Research papers are the currency of knowledge dissemination, and the affiliations listed on these papers carry significant weight. Affiliations serve as a vital identifier, linking researchers to their respective institutions or organizations, and they play a crucial role in establishing credibility, recognizing contributions, and fostering collaborations within the scientific community.

When a research paper is published, the affiliations of the authors are essentially imprinted in time, forever associated with the findings and insights presented in the work. However, the journey of a researcher is dynamic, and circumstances can change over time. Researchers may find themselves faced with situations where their affiliations need to be updated in already published papers. These situations can arise due to a variety of reasons, such as career advancements, relocation to a new institution, or joining a collaborative project with colleagues from different organizations.

Imagine a scenario where Dr. Smith, an esteemed biologist, publishes a groundbreaking study on genetic mutations in cancer cells. The paper, which carries her former institution’s affiliation, receives widespread recognition and becomes a cornerstone in cancer research. However, a year after the publication, Dr. Smith accepts an enticing research opportunity at a leading medical centre. Now, with her scientific journey taking her to a new institution, she realizes the need to update her affiliation on the already published paper, ensuring that her latest work reflects her current professional standing.

In such cases, ensuring accurate and up-to-date affiliations is not only a matter of personal career progression but also a matter of scientific integrity. It’s crucial to maintain an accurate historical record of affiliations, as these affiliations provide valuable insights into the collaborative networks and institutional contributions that shaped the research landscape.

In this blog post, we aim to shed light on the significance of affiliations in research papers and why researchers may need to modify them post-publication. We recognize the challenges researchers might face when attempting to make such changes and the potential impact on their academic standing and future collaborations. To empower researchers in navigating this process, we will provide a step-by-step guide, offering practical advice on how to initiate and implement affiliation changes in published papers.

Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a budding scholar, understanding the process of updating affiliations is essential for maintaining the accuracy and credibility of your scientific contributions. So, let’s embark on this informative journey and equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools to responsibly manage affiliation changes in the dynamic world of academic research.

I have written articles on the possible corrections an author may want to do to a research paper that is already published. Please visit the articles listed below for further details.

How can I change my affiliation in a Published Research Paper?

Step 1: Check Publication Policy

Before embarking on the process of changing affiliations in an already published research paper, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the publication’s guidelines and policies regarding corrections and updates. Each journal or publication may have specific procedures and requirements for making changes to author affiliations, and understanding these guidelines is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful process.

Importance of Understanding Publication Guidelines:

Journal publications uphold rigorous standards of accuracy and integrity to maintain the credibility of scientific literature. Affiliation details play a significant role in establishing the author’s credibility, expertise, and institutional association with the research presented in the paper. Any changes to affiliations should be done in a manner that preserves the historical record of the paper while reflecting the most current and accurate information.


Let’s consider an example where Dr. Johnson, a researcher in the field of environmental science, published a paper on climate change with her previous institution’s affiliation. Due to her recent appointment as a faculty member at a renowned university, Dr. Johnson now wishes to update the affiliation on the published paper to reflect her current position. However, she is unsure about the correct procedure to follow.

Tips on Where to Find Publication Guidelines:

  1. Journal Website: The publication’s website often contains a dedicated section titled “Instructions for Authors” or “Author Guidelines.” This section outlines the journal’s policies, including instructions on how to correct or update affiliations post-publication.
  2. Author’s Dashboard: If the paper was submitted through an online manuscript submission system, the author’s dashboard may provide information on how to request affiliation changes.
  3. Contact the Editorial Office: If the journal’s guidelines are not easily accessible, contacting the editorial office via email or phone is a reliable way to obtain the necessary information. Editorial staff members are well-versed in the publication’s policies and can provide guidance on making affiliation changes.
  4. Online Resources: Some journals have FAQs or online resources addressing common author queries, including how to correct affiliations. Check the journal’s website or relevant forums for any such resources.
  5. Publication Agreement: Revisit the publication agreement or copyright transfer form you signed during the submission process. It may contain provisions related to post-publication changes.

Example (Continued):

After some research, Dr. Johnson visits the journal’s website and locates the “Instructions for Authors” page. She discovers a subsection specifically addressing corrections and updates to published papers. Following the provided instructions, she prepares to contact the editorial office to initiate the process of changing her affiliation.

By understanding the publication’s guidelines and following the correct procedure, researchers like Dr. Johnson can navigate the affiliation change process with confidence, ensuring that their contributions are accurately represented in the scientific literature. Remember, each journal may have its own unique guidelines, so it’s essential to be diligent in locating and adhering to the specific instructions for the paper in question.

Step 2: Gather Documentation

Once you have familiarized yourself with the publication’s guidelines and determined the appropriate procedure for changing affiliations, the next crucial step is to gather the necessary documentation to support the affiliation change. Providing proper documentation is essential to validate the updates and ensure the accuracy and credibility of the revised affiliation.

Types of Documentation for Affiliation Change:

  1. Official Letters from the New Institution: A formal letter from the new institution confirming your affiliation with them is one of the primary and most important documents. The letter should be on the institution’s official letterhead and signed by an authorized representative, such as the department head, dean, or human resources officer. The letter should include your name, the effective date of the affiliation change, your official title or position at the new institution, and any other relevant details.


Let’s consider Dr. Rodriguez, a postdoctoral researcher in the field of neuroscience, who recently accepted a position at a prestigious research institute. She now needs to update her affiliation on a published paper that was submitted during her previous postdoctoral position. To support the affiliation change, Dr. Rodriguez obtains an official letter from the research institute confirming her employment and new affiliation. The letter contains all the necessary details, including the effective date of the change.

  1. Employment Contract or Offer Letter: If your affiliation change is due to a new job or employment opportunity, providing a copy of your employment contract or offer letter can be valuable documentation. This document further substantiates the official nature of your affiliation with the new institution and reinforces the validity of the update.
  2. Acceptance Letters or Invitations to Collaborate: In cases where the affiliation change is the result of a collaboration with researchers from a different institution, you can include acceptance letters or invitations to collaborate as additional supporting documentation. These letters should clearly state the nature of the collaboration and your role in the project.
  3. Publication Agreement: Including a copy of the publication agreement or copyright transfer form you signed during the initial submission can serve as proof that you are an author associated with the paper.
  4. CV or Resume: While not a formal document for the affiliation change process, providing an updated CV or resume that includes your new affiliation can be helpful for the editorial office to cross-check and verify the change.

Example (Continued):

Having received the official letter from the prestigious research institute, Dr. Rodriguez is now ready to initiate the affiliation change process. She gathers all the relevant documentation, including the official letter, her new employment contract, and a copy of the publication agreement signed during the initial submission.

By compiling the necessary documentation, researchers like Dr. Rodriguez ensure that their affiliation change request is well-substantiated and meets the publication’s requirements for validation. Proper documentation adds credibility to the affiliation change, giving the journal’s editorial office confidence in implementing the updates accurately. Remember to provide clear and legible copies of the documents to avoid any delays or complications in the process.

Step 3: Contact the Journal or Publisher

After gathering the necessary documentation to support the affiliation change, the next step is to contact the journal or publisher to initiate the process formally. Professional and courteous communication is essential when reaching out to the editorial office to ensure smooth and efficient handling of your request.

Advice on Contacting the Journal or Publisher:

  1. Locating Contact Information: Start by identifying the appropriate contact information for the journal or publisher. Most reputable journals will have a dedicated editorial office or a contact email specifically for author inquiries or corrections. You can typically find this information on the journal’s website, in the published paper, or in any communications you may have received from the journal during the review process.
  2. Compose a Clear and Concise Email: When drafting your email, be clear and concise in stating the purpose of your inquiry. Begin by mentioning the title of the published paper, the names of all authors, and the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or any other identifying information of the paper.


Subject: Request for Affiliation Change – Paper Title: “Advancements in Neural Network Research”

Dear [Journal/Publisher Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request a correction to the affiliation associated with the published paper titled “Advancements in Neural Network Research,” authored by [Author Names]. The DOI for the paper is [DOI number].

  1. Explain the Reason for the Affiliation Change: Briefly explain the reason for the affiliation change and attach the relevant supporting documentation. State the effective date of the affiliation change and provide a clear statement of the updated affiliation details.


As of [Effective Date], I have joined [New Institution Name] as [New Position/Title]. I kindly request to update my affiliation on the published paper to reflect this change accurately. Please find attached the official letter from [New Institution Name] confirming my affiliation with them.

  1. Express Gratitude and Professionalism: Show appreciation for the journal’s consideration of your request and maintain a professional tone throughout the email.


I understand that the editorial process involves careful attention to detail, and I genuinely appreciate your assistance in making this important correction. Should you require any additional information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Current Affiliation]

  1. Attach Relevant Documents: Attach the supporting documentation, such as the official letter from the new institution, your updated CV, or any other documents requested by the journal’s guidelines.

Example (Continued):

Dr. Rodriguez drafts a professional email following the guidelines outlined above. She attaches the official letter from the prestigious research institute and includes her updated CV for reference. After thoroughly reviewing the email for clarity and accuracy, she sends it to the contact email provided by the journal.

By communicating professionally and providing all the necessary information, researchers like Dr. Rodriguez can ensure that their affiliation change request is handled efficiently by the journal’s editorial office. Remember to be patient during this process, as it may take some time for the journal to review and process the request, especially if there are other pending corrections or updates.

Step 4: Submit a Correction or Erratum

Once the journal or publisher has acknowledged your request to change the affiliation on the published paper and provided instructions for correction, it’s time to prepare and submit a formal correction or erratum. A correction is issued to rectify errors or inaccuracies in the published paper, while an erratum is used to address mistakes made by the journal itself.

Process of Submitting a Correction or Erratum:

  1. Identify the Corrected Information: Clearly state the specific changes that need to be made to the affiliations. Include the updated affiliation details, including the new institution’s name, department, address, and any additional information required by the journal’s guidelines.


The corrected affiliation for Dr. Johnson is as follows: Department of Environmental Science, Prestigious Research Institute, City, Country.

  1. Title the Correction or Erratum: Use a descriptive title that indicates that the document is a correction or erratum for the published paper. Include the paper’s title and any relevant identifying information, such as the DOI or publication date.


Correction to: “Insights into Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity” – DOI: [DOI number]

  1. Explain the Reason for the Correction or Erratum: Provide a concise explanation of the reason for the change in affiliations. Mention that the original publication had an outdated affiliation and that this correction aims to update and accurately reflect the author’s current institutional affiliation.


We are issuing this correction to update the author’s affiliation on the published paper to reflect her current position at the Prestigious Research Institute. The previous affiliation listed was based on her previous postdoctoral position.

  1. Reference the Original Paper: Include the full citation or reference to the original published paper that requires the correction or erratum. This will help readers and indexers connect the corrected version to the original work.


Original Paper: [Author Names]. (Year). “Insights into Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity.” Journal of Environmental Science, Volume(X), Page Range. DOI: [DOI number]

  1. Attach Supporting Documentation: Include the relevant supporting documentation that validates the affiliation change. Attach the official letter from the new institution or any other documents required by the journal’s guidelines.

Example (Continued):

Following the journal’s instructions, Dr. Johnson prepares the correction document. She includes the updated affiliation information, the title indicating the document as a correction, and a concise explanation of the reason for the change. Dr. Johnson references the original paper with its full citation and attaches the official letter from the prestigious research institute.

  1. Submit the Correction or Erratum: Follow the journal’s specific instructions for submission. Some journals may have a dedicated online platform for corrections or errata, while others may require submission via email.

Example (Continued):

Dr. Johnson submits the correction document, along with the required attachments, through the journal’s online submission system as per their guidelines.

By submitting a well-organized and clear correction or erratum document, researchers like Dr. Johnson ensure that the journal’s readership and indexing services have access to the accurate and updated affiliation information. This process upholds the integrity of the published scientific literature and ensures that researchers’ contributions are appropriately recognized with their current institutional affiliations.

Step 5: Review and Approval

After submitting the correction or erratum to the journal, the document undergoes a review process to ensure its accuracy and validity. The journal’s role in this step is essential as they act as gatekeepers of scientific integrity, maintaining the credibility of the published literature.

Journal’s Role in Reviewing the Correction or Erratum:

  1. Verification of Information: The journal’s editorial team carefully reviews the submitted correction or erratum to verify the accuracy of the requested changes. They cross-reference the provided documentation with the original publication and ensure that the updated affiliation information aligns with the supporting evidence.


In Dr. Johnson’s case, the journal’s editorial team compares the correction document with the original paper titled “Insights into Climate Change Impact on Biodiversity” to validate the affiliation change from her previous institution to the prestigious research institute.

  1. Adherence to Publication Policies: The journal’s editorial team ensures that the correction or erratum complies with the publication’s policies and guidelines. They confirm that the document follows the correct formatting, includes the necessary information, and adheres to ethical standards.


The journal confirms that Dr. Johnson’s correction document includes all the required elements, such as the corrected affiliation, a clear explanation of the change, and a reference to the original paper. They also verify that the supporting documentation provided by Dr. Johnson meets the journal’s requirements.

  1. Communication with the Author: If any discrepancies or questions arise during the review process, the journal’s editorial team may communicate with the author to seek clarification or additional information. Open communication helps ensure the accuracy and completeness of the correction or erratum.


The journal contacts Dr. Johnson to inquire about a minor formatting issue in the correction document. Dr. Johnson promptly addresses the matter, providing the necessary adjustments.

  1. Approval and Publication: Once the review process is complete, and the correction or erratum is deemed accurate and valid, the journal approves the document for publication. The updated affiliation is then published in a subsequent issue, either as a standalone correction or as part of an erratum section.

Example (Continued):

After conducting a thorough review and confirming the validity of Dr. Johnson’s correction document, the journal’s editorial team approves it for publication. The corrected affiliation of Dr. Johnson is scheduled to be published in the upcoming issue of the journal.

Emphasizing the Need for Accuracy and Validity:

It is crucial to underscore that accuracy and validity are paramount when making corrections or issuing errata. The journal’s role in reviewing and approving such changes ensures that the scientific record remains reliable and up-to-date. By maintaining strict quality control measures, journals safeguard against potential inaccuracies and contribute to the integrity of the research community.

As researchers, authors, and readers, we share the collective responsibility to uphold the accuracy of published work. Collaboration between authors and journal teams in the correction process reinforces the commitment to transparent and accurate scientific communication. With these rigorous standards in place, the scientific literature continues to be a reliable foundation for advancing knowledge and shaping the future of research.

Step 6: Notify Indexing Services (if applicable)

After the correction or erratum has been approved and published by the journal, it is essential to notify indexing services about the affiliation change. Indexing services, such as PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and others, play a crucial role in organizing and providing access to the vast amount of scientific literature. Informing them about the affiliation change ensures that the updated information is accurately reflected in their databases, facilitating proper attribution and discoverability of the research.

Importance of Notifying Indexing Services:

  1. Accurate Attribution: Indexing services use affiliations to attribute research to specific institutions or organizations accurately. Keeping this information up to date is essential to ensure that researchers are credited appropriately for their work and that institutions receive proper recognition for their contributions.


When Dr. Rodriguez’s affiliation is updated to the prestigious research institute in the journal’s published correction, notifying indexing services like PubMed about this change ensures that her research contributions are accurately linked to her new institution in their database. This allows other researchers and institutions to recognize her affiliation with the prestigious research institute when accessing her publications.

  1. Discoverability and Accessibility: Correctly indexed affiliations help researchers and readers easily discover relevant literature from specific institutions or researchers. This enhances the accessibility and visibility of research from particular institutions or research groups.


If a reader searches for publications from the prestigious research institute, the correct indexing of Dr. Rodriguez’s research under her new affiliation will lead to more accurate and relevant search results, making it easier for readers to find her latest work.

  1. Research Evaluations and Rankings: Some institutions and funding agencies use publication records to assess research productivity and impact. Ensuring accurate affiliations is crucial for fair evaluations and rankings, which can influence funding decisions and institutional recognition.


The prestigious research institute’s ranking and reputation may be positively affected by the accurate affiliation indexing of its researchers, such as Dr. Rodriguez. This can lead to increased opportunities for research funding and collaborations.

Informing Indexing Services:

Each indexing service has its own procedures for updating affiliations. It may involve contacting the indexing service directly, filling out a form, or following specific instructions on their website. Journals or publishers might also have direct communication channels with indexing services to facilitate such updates.

Example (Continued):

After the publication of the correction with Dr. Rodriguez’s updated affiliation, the journal’s editorial team takes the initiative to notify indexing services about the change. They ensure that the corrected information is communicated accurately to the relevant indexing databases.

By proactively notifying indexing services about affiliation changes, journals, researchers, and institutions contribute to maintaining the accuracy and integrity of research records worldwide. It also ensures that researchers receive proper recognition and that their contributions are accurately represented in the scientific community.

Step 7: Update Personal Profiles

After the affiliation change has been approved and published in the journal, it is crucial for the author to update their personal profiles to reflect the new affiliation. This step helps maintain consistency across various platforms and ensures that the author’s current institutional association is accurately represented in the academic community.

Advice on Updating Personal Profiles:

  1. Researcher Profile Websites: If you have a researcher profile on platforms like ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Google Scholar, or ORCID, log in to your account and update your affiliation information.


Dr. Smith, who recently changed her affiliation to a new university, visits her ResearchGate profile and updates the “Affiliation” section with her new institution’s details. This change is automatically reflected on her ResearchGate profile, which is viewed by researchers worldwide.

  1. University/Institution Websites: If your new institution hosts researcher profiles on its website, update your affiliation information there as well. This ensures that your profile is consistent with the official records of your institution.


Dr. Johnson, who is now affiliated with the prestigious research institute, visits the institute’s website and navigates to her faculty profile. She updates the “Affiliation” field on her profile page, providing her new position and affiliation details.

  1. Social and Professional Networking Sites: Platforms like LinkedIn are widely used for professional networking. Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect the correct affiliation, as this information is visible to potential collaborators, employers, and colleagues.


Dr. Rodriguez, now affiliated with the prestigious research institute, logs in to her LinkedIn account and edits her “Experience” section, adding her new position and affiliation. This update is visible to her connections and professional network.

  1. Publication Records: If you maintain a personal publication list on your website or other platforms, update the affiliation information for your published papers to match the corrected version in the journal.


Dr. Smith manages her personal website, where she maintains a list of her publications. She updates the affiliation for the published paper to reflect her new institution and provides a link to the corrected version of the paper on the journal’s website.

  1. Provide Links to the Corrected Paper: When updating your personal profiles, consider providing links to the corrected version of the published paper, especially if it is available online. This allows readers and colleagues to access the accurate and updated version of your work.


Dr. Johnson updates her ResearchGate profile and includes a link to the corrected version of her paper, “Advancements in Neural Network Research,” on the journal’s website. This way, readers who visit her profile can access the most recent and accurate information about her research.

By updating personal profiles with the correct affiliation and providing links to the corrected version of the published paper, researchers ensure that their professional information is current and consistent across different platforms. This contributes to establishing a reliable and accurate academic identity, allowing colleagues and collaborators to find and connect with them easily.

Request Letter for Affiliation Change in Published Paper

Subject: Request for Affiliation Change in Published Paper

Dear [Journal/Publisher Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request a correction to the affiliation associated with the published paper titled “[Paper Title]” authored by [Author Names]. The paper’s DOI is [DOI number], and it was published in [Journal Name], [Volume], [Issue], [Publication Year].

I recently experienced a change in my institutional affiliation, and I wish to update the information in the published paper to reflect my current position. The correction is necessary to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the scientific literature and to properly credit my research contributions to the institution with which I am currently affiliated.

I kindly request to update my affiliation as follows:

Old Affiliation: [Old Institution Name], [Old Department], [Old City], [Old Country]

New Affiliation: [New Institution Name], [New Department], [New City], [New Country]

To support this affiliation change, I have attached an official letter from [New Institution Name] confirming my current association with them. The letter is on the institution’s official letterhead and is signed by [Name and Designation of Authorized Representative].

I assure you that the affiliation change has no impact on the content, results, or conclusions presented in the published paper. All co-authors have been informed of this request, and they fully support this correction.

Please let me know if you require any additional information or documentation to proceed with the affiliation change process. I am more than willing to provide any further details necessary.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I greatly appreciate your cooperation in updating my affiliation in the published paper. I look forward to your positive response.


[Your Name] [Your Current Affiliation] [Contact Email] [Contact Phone Number]


The journey of academic research is one paved with innovation, collaboration, and growth. As researchers, our affiliations serve as critical milestones, connecting us to the institutions and organizations that shape our contributions to the scientific community. However, the dynamic nature of our careers can lead to situations where updating affiliations in already published research papers becomes necessary.

In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the step-by-step process of changing affiliations in published papers, emphasizing the importance of accuracy, transparency, and integrity. Understanding the publication’s guidelines, gathering the right documentation, and maintaining professional communication with the journal’s editorial team are the initial keystones to navigating this process.

We have witnessed the significance of notifying indexing services to ensure accurate records, enhance discoverability, and preserve the credit and recognition researchers deserve. Updating personal profiles with the correct affiliations reinforces a consistent and reliable academic identity, making it easier for colleagues and collaborators to connect and engage.

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Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Author: Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit
Dr. Vijay Rajpurohit is a researcher in Computer Science. He loves to educate researchers and research scholars on Research Paper Writing, Thesis Writing, Research Grants, Patenting Research Work and the latest Research-related issues. You can reach him @ [email protected]