Academic common room
How would you deal with this situation please? More senior ex-colleague using my work as their own
gumphlumph · 21/06/2017 19:02
Title says it all really.
I graduated as a mature student last July. An ex-lecturer of mine was working at a new institution and got me in to do a few teaching sessions at her new place during this year. We were asked to offer papers to present at conference and I wrote a proposal which was accepted at a national conference. I wrote the proposal and the full presentation as she was busy completing her MA. I put her name on the work as though it was a joint venture but I literally did all the work other than using the title she came up with and one short piece of video that she provided.
On the day of the conference we both attended, I presented singlehandedly and she took the questions from the floor with me. She was apis for her time by the institution, I was not.
When our presentation was mentioned in the in-house newsletter it was only her name listed as having presented at this conference - mine was missed off. She has a contract at the institution and I am just an hourly paid tutor, so I assumed this was why I received no credit.
Anyway, we put in a couple more proposals and they have both been accepted. One larger national conference and one international at the end of the summer. She is presenting at both of them. I have been written out of the proceedings as though I had no input, and I could not afford to attend these events without being paid anyway.
I believe that she is using my presentation and passing it off as her own. I am very cross at this.
So as not to drip feed, I don't believe that I will get any more work at the institution. The person is very ambitious. I am not. But I don't think it's ok that she's using my work and I'm not getting the credit.
Can someone talk me down here? Have I misunderstood? Is this what happens in academia?
user1497480444 · 21/06/2017 19:07
It happens, its no big deal, just don't worry about it
verybookish · 21/06/2017 19:13
How frustrating. This is in my experience neither normal nor acceptable. But I would try and stay calm and collected. I would simply say something like: hey such great news that our paper/ presentation got accepted to all these conferences. I noticed that my name is missing off the programme. It is probably just a typo ( remember the same thing happened at xyz). It would be really great if you could rectify this. I know that due to funding constraints I can't attend but since I made a significant contribution it would be great if my name was attached to the work. This would allow so help me on the job market.
Foureyesarebetterthantwo · 21/06/2017 19:39
It is much harder now to reinsert your name than it is to get the authorship sorted in the first place, it is a learning curve a bit I think!
Presumably you were joint authors at the first conference in the conference proceedings/schedule, even if you got missed off the newsletter (which is really quite unimportant). So you can include this conference on your CV.
For the next two, you say 'we wrote them and got accepted'- but did you write them with both your names on and then she removed it, or did you just not put your name on? The time to have agreed both which names were on and in which order was definitely at this point, when you submit. You can write now to her as bookish says politely explaining your name has been missed off and could you ask it to be included on the programme for career reasons.
I am always now incredibly blunt about authorship, and pin down what authors, in what order, before writing anything or submitting to conferences. It is bad form what she has done, although sometimes weirdly I have noticed that some workshop type forms only allow you to submit one author which is very annoying. If that happens, I notify the organizers that there's more than one author. I wonder also in some disciplines (humanities) if there's a trend for only the speaker's name to be included, and then the other people to be acknowledged within the text.
You will know for next time, embarrassing as these conversations are to have.
Yogafire · 21/06/2017 21:00
It's really poor form and I would say something. Perhaps in the polite way suggested above just in case.
I let myself be taken advantage of early on before I got my first job. I wrote a critical parts of a book by a more senior academic and only got mentioned as part of a long list in the acknowledgements. I didn't even question it at the time and only realised after quite how wrong it was. It annoyed me for quite a while and I wish I'd said something, though I wouldn't have had a chance.
It is useful for your publications and cv so you should take credit!
gumphlumph · 21/06/2017 21:20
Thanks everyone. I'm going to email her using more or less the terminology suggested above. I have tried to tackle her about it but she's stonewalled me. I I put it in writing I feel as though I can get the tone of what I want to say correct.
I'm surprised at how common this sort of thing seems to be, from your experiences. I'm struggling as to how we can lecture students about the dangers of plagiarism when it seems rife amongst staff.
Thanks for your input
InLovewithaGermanFilmStar · 22/06/2017 10:04
It's not rife amongst staff - well, certainly not in my (very wide) experience. What you have experienced is quite shocking actually. You need to have an email trail of you saying she can't use your work any longer.
TBH, you shouldn't have done all the work in the first place, but I can see you felt disempowered. But your colleague is obviously not particularly hot stuff research if she's only just now finishing a Masters degree. Sounds like a fairly "research-lite" situation all round.
I'm not sure there's very much more you can do, expect withdraw from any joint presentations, withdraw your intellectual labour, and tell her that you are "surprised" (this word can mean so much more!) that your name and your work has not been credited.
If you really want to stake your claim to the work you've done, then why not publish, or present it at conferences yourself? I know that you say you can't afford to attend but sometimes there can be bursaries or just day attendance.
If she really is so inexperienced and lacking in original research as your story suggests, she'll run out of original material to present quite soon. Don't do any more work for her.
FaFoutis · 22/06/2017 22:19
It happened to me. A more senior ex-colleague wrote a book based entirely on my research without mentioning me once. I wrote a co-authored article with him so he must have thought he had paid his dues. I'm still pissed off with myself that I said or did nothing about it.
Some good ideas about how to deal with it on this thread. I wish I had.
Marasme · 23/06/2017 17:25
my first post doc work got published without my name. PI had decided that since he was paying me, my work product belonged to him :/
MedSchoolRat · 24/06/2017 10:37
I don't know whether to be or for those of you that had this happen.
It sounds like OP's research partner (in addition to being an idiot) may naively think it's okay due to her own inexperience. imho, It's extremely important that you politely but firmly point out her transgression.
The thing is, leaving someone out as author is very counterproductive in long run; they won't want to work with you again, so you burn that bridge & soon there are no more bridges left. Word gets around. Most my colleagues have been over-generous in offering co-authorship, opposite of inclined to cut people out.
LRDtheFeministDragon · 25/06/2017 18:04
I agree, this is definitely not right. It's plagiarism. I also agree she sounds very low-powered if she's a lecturer completing her MA, but that doesn't make it ok.
gumphlumph · 25/06/2017 21:52
Thanks for the different perspectives on this. I'm shocked that this seems to happen fairly often but reassured that most people think that it's not acceptable - which wasn't gut feeling.
I've confused in a colleague from another institution and they think that I should take it up with the person's HOD but I don't see any value in this as the person in question and the HOD are good friends and I don't believe that anything would come of it.
The first conference starts tomorrow so it's too late to make amends now but I will challenge her again I think.
InLovewithaGermanFilmStar · 26/06/2017 09:26
leaving someone out as author is very counterproductive in long run; they won't want to work with you again, so you burn that bridge & soon there are no more bridges left. Word gets around
This is so true.
Stake your claim, OP.
gumphlumph · 26/06/2017 22:04
Apologies, I've just looked back at that last message and it's full of errors. I'm typing on my phone and clearly I need more practice.
I've looked again at the programme of events and realised that she's actually presenting last thing on Friday. Other papers show two presenters so it's obviously just not a case of only allowing one presenter.
This person is studiously avoiding me and has continued to ignore the message I did send. Would it be wrong to email her asking for some credit for the work and cc-ing her manager?
user1471134011 · 27/06/2017 10:32
This reply has been deleted
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
user1497357411 · 02/07/2017 12:45
You must react to this now or she will continue doing it. You must have this corrected so you can add the items to your CV.
spinassienne · 04/07/2017 10:43
I would be of a mind to contact the conference organisers pointing out your name should be alongside hers
Yeah I'd be inclined to do this too, but I'm old and a bitch and I have tenure so I could afford to piss people off.
Marasme · 07/07/2017 22:52
"I'm old and a bitch and I have tenure"
Yep - and it is a good position to be in sometimes, because it enables you to strop off / storm off when the shit gets unreasonable. OP, I would have lost it a while ago - but, like Spinassienne, I am "less young" and tenured, and I can also be a bitch when people step on me
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