Scientiﬁc paper authorship has been considered as a form of academic currency that can be regarded as evidence of an individual’s intellectual efforts that accordingly can result in professional reputation, academic appointment and rewards, and other tenure decisions. However, pressure to publish within academia has led to various unethical authorship practices including ghost authorship. Ghost authors refer to the individuals who have made substantial contribution to a research project while their names are not added as authors or acknowledged. This study involving 20 Iranian MA students of TEFL who were exploited as ghost authors aimed to explore the reasons that accounted for the students' vulnerability to being exploited as ghost authors. Individual semi-structured interviews with the participants were used to gather the data. Three major themes including a) power relation inherent in student-faculty collaboration, b) lack of knowledge about authorship, and c) lack of rules and regulations emerged that, according to the participants, precipitated their vulnerability to being exploited as ghost authors.
Key words: authorship, ghost authorship. applied linguistics, TEFL