Is ‘we’ first-person?

Yes, the personal pronoun we and the related pronouns us, ours, and ourselves are all first-person. These are the first-person plural pronouns (and our is the first-person plural possessive determiner).

If you’ve been told not to refer to yourself in the first person in your academic writing, this means you should also avoid the first-person plural terms above. Switching from ‘I’ to ‘we’ is not a way of avoiding the first person, and it’s illogical if you’re writing alone.

If you need to avoid the first person, you can instead use the passive voice or refer to yourself in the third person as ‘the author’ or ‘the researcher’.