Using my results prior to submission for publication - help?



Not sure if this is relevant here but I have a query regarding plagiarism/intellectual property. Basically one of my supervisors has to present at a conference and wants to use my research findings for part of this. Problem is, he's lifted a whole presentation I gave a while ago and put my latest research findings in there in HIS presentation - the slides are the exact ones I presented a while ago. The second problem is I don't know where he's got these from because he didn't ask my permission to use them and I never sent them to him. The third problem is I'm not at the conference to answer any queries people may have, and he's not in the same field as me (he's food tech I'm psychology). I'm writing a paper with the research results at the moment and I have a bit of an issue with him presenting my work at an international conference without the research having yet been peer reviewed and published. Anyone come across this or any idea how I should approach this?


I can't say I've come across anything similar but, if it was me, I'd have an open conversation with the sup. I don't think presenting the research prior to it being published is a problem per se to be honest, I'd be more bothered about him lifting my work without permission. Are you able to approach him at all?


That's totally unacceptable. I'd discuss it with one of your other supervisors, who will be appalled I think. He must know it's not on.


Thanks - I'm really annoyed and slightly hurt that someone would just take my presentation slides without asking and use them as their own. I guess on the flip side I should be flattered, but in honesty I feel that it's downright disrespectful and damned lazy on his part.

I'll have a word with the other one and see what he says. Stuff like this really demotivates me around academia.... :(


Is your name first author or his?


I used some slides that were somebody else's but I asked their permission first and then added a credit to my Powerpoint. Also when someone else wanted to borrow those slides, I asked the original slide owner first.


Is he re-presenting your whole presentation, and nothing else, or has he just taken a few results slides and included them in his presentation along with some other stuff?

If the latter, this is completely normal. You should be acknowledged during his presentation of course, and hopefully he will do this as he presents the work, or at least at the end. The only way most group leaders do research is by supervising the people who *actually* do the research, so of course they present their students and postdocs work at conferences, often they can bring themes from different people's projects together, to give some additional insights, for example. It is a very good sign if your supervisor wants to talk about your work, and it should give you and your work greater exposure to a wider audience. Some supervisors will use whole slides the way you made them, others might just use the images and put new text, etc.

If he is just re-presenting your whole presentation, without your name appearing as first author, this would be quite strange.