Missing Author name from a paper

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Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
Missing Author name from a paper

Hi all
A serious question,
If some one sees a figure in a publication which is his. The figure was published without noticing or mentioning his name.
It is in one of the leading Scientific Journal.
What can he do with it?
The paper came from his former Lab.

atcg
atcg's picture
http://www.legalmatch.com/law

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/intellectual-property.html

This person may want to look over his/her previous contract, as some companies may claim rights over all illustrations, research, and data that were generated and gathered during the time of employment. However, it is definately worth checking into so this person could receive credit due for the published work!

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
Hi again,

Hi again,
He was a postdoc in an academic institution.
Not in a company.
I guess there could be something that he can do ?

ryan_m
ryan_m's picture
Two answers, depending on the

Two answers, depending on the situation. Does the person who created the figure think that the lab simply forgot to put their name on the paper? I have had this happen with long author lists. If this is the case, the corresponding author can contact the journal and may be able to get your friend's name put in as an erratum. However, if the figure was published previously, the copyright may no longer be his. Often the copyright is passed onto the publishing journal, thus the authors could have gotten permission to re-use this figure from the journal without talking to the original creator of the figure.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
There are just 3 names in the

There are just 3 names in the author list, and the figure wasnt previously published anywhere.
As per the erratum, Isnt it a problem to add an author name to a published paper ( was published just on Sept 6th)?
I think it would be very strane to the editor, if the co-author will say the he/she forgut to add one contributor to he paper?

ryan_m
ryan_m's picture
Well I have had a problem

Well I have had a problem where my name was spelled wrong in the author list. I emailed the editor and the problem was confirmed with the corresponding author, then the erratum was published to correct this spelling error. It is at least worth a try if the authors of the paper in question are willing. It would be in their interests to avoid any legal ramifications.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
In this case the author name

In this case the author name is missing, not misspelled.
What about the legal aspect for post docs and their data?

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
First of all I think this

First of all I think this really sounds like a clear case of stolen data.

I would simply suggest that the person contact the authors of the paper and editor of the journal to have this same discussion. If the authors put up a fight then the postdoc can go to the editor next, or even the administration of his old university to try and set the record straight.

Obviously, this depends on the records the postdoc has to prove that he/she produced the data and the stomach he has for a fight, if needed. However, I think many would consider this serious and adding a name in erratum or, worse, withdrawing the paper seem like real possibilities to me.

cliff99
cliff99's picture
gsovak wrote:Hi all

gsovak wrote:

Hi all
A serious question,
If some one sees a figure in a publication which is his. The figure was published without noticing or mentioning his name.
It is in one of the leading Scientific Journal.
What can he do with it?
The paper came from his former Lab.

Poor guy is being screwed by his ex-boss - a common occurence in Post-Doc World. Best to have these things all sorted out before you burn your bridges - another common event in PDW.

Guy Sovak
Guy Sovak's picture
Thats true,

Thats true,
Postdoc life is semi hell, work work work, we dont get the money that we should get. On top of it we are getting problems from our bosses.
I know some case that it wasnt the situation, that the post docs were more then happy.

As for now the problem regarding the missing author name was delt with.
Unfortunately the boss acknowledged her mistake (not immediately) but nothing could be done with it) and as you say the postdoc still needs his former boss.