My abusive supervisor has conflict of interest with my publication at the last minute. Help!

posted
31-May-17, 09:24
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Babygirl
posted about 3 years ago
Dear all,

So I need your advice and perspective again. I am currently in a dilemma with one of my supervisors. I have posted before about how he abused me and how I have been coping with the situation. I am now in my last year of the PhD, close to finishing and have been working directly with my female supervisor now instead of the male one and basically only communicate with him on work related matters via email mostly.

My latest worry is that I have been working on a publication, there are many authors including those I did most of the work with abroad. The paper has gone through revision and I am awaiting their decision. But lo and behold this supervisor decided at this last minute to say he is not okay with the title of the paper, that I should change it to something he suggested and write a letter to the editor before it is published. He got backing from my female supervisor so it is like out of 7 authors only two now have a conflict of interest.

My concern is he had all the time in the world to make his input but he didn't until now knowing fully well that it is close to publication. If I go ahead and attempt changing the title, it would hint at a conflict of interest and the paper might be delayed or withdrawn which means starting afresh. On the other hand, if I decide to disobey him on this, he might either try to 'punish' me by affecting my progress with my thesis or escalate the matter to the editors and maybe have his name withdrawn from the paper.

Now I know the problem he is having with this paper is as a result of his personal conflict with me and not really because the title doesn't read well as he says. This is someone who subjected me to two years of sexual and emotional abuse before I broke free from his stranglehold and took charge of my life again. Obviously he is trying to frustrate me and is looking for every avenue to thwart or delay my progress.

The bottom line I am confused about what to do here. The paper title cannot change right now, I think it's too late for that and I am fine with it but if a co-author is in disagreement then there is a problem. I also don't want to discourage my overseas professor who worked with me painstakingly and guided me throughout the paper writing process.

It is quite clear that I made a huge mistake slogging through this program without reporting him early. I thought it was best to manage through the program before reporting him. To think they want to retain me in the department after the program and I would have to keep working with him, makes me cringe.

Please advise!!
posted
31-May-17, 10:09
by emmaki
Avatar for emmaki
posted about 3 years ago
What do the other writers say?
I think that if both your supervisors suggest that the title should be changed, maybe it should. Forgive me if I am wrong, but your second supervisor is hlepful and you get along well with her. So, what reason would she have to force you into doing something bad?
posted
31-May-17, 10:10
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Are you able to request the title change anyway? If the editors say no then you can say I requested it but it was not permitted.
posted
31-May-17, 11:59
edited a moment later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
I don't think a change of title is a big deal and I don't see how this amounts to a conflict of interest. You could tell the other authors that you are thinking of changing the title to a more appropriate one and see what they think, then just ask the editor to change it.
posted
31-May-17, 13:48
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Babygirl
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
I don't think a change of title is a big deal and I don't see how this amounts to a conflict of interest. You could tell the other authors that you are thinking of changing the title to a more appropriate one and see what they think, then just ask the editor to change it.


Thanks for the suggestions but my point is I don't agree with their suggested title. They are correcting style not substance. I think the title is fine and depicts what the paper is about. Also, I have submitted DNA sequences to Genbank using that title. I know he is suggesting a change now to rattle me, so I would probably just ignore him on this or ask the other authors and see what they think.
posted
31-May-17, 13:59
by emmaki
Avatar for emmaki
posted about 3 years ago
I can see your point, but don't you think that the style of a title is also important?
Also, why would you second supervisor support his suggestion, if it isn't a reasonable one?

Could it be that you are prejudiced against him because of what he has done and now you believe that all his suggestions ate wrong?
Also, as ToL has said, I don't see the conflict of intetest either
posted
31-May-17, 22:49
edited a moment later
by satchi
Avatar for satchi
posted about 3 years ago
hi, I remember you posted about your supervisor sometime ago. I remember you did describe him to the forum. I have not heard of authors' conflict of interest because of disagreement in title; if you really don't want to change your title, I suppose you have the right to stand your ground with reasons as to why the title should be the same. OR -- you could change the title if doing this will help improve your paper and get published?
Hope you get sorted.
posted
01-Jun-17, 09:14
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Hi again

If it's style and nothing substantive then just swallow your annoyance, run it by the author authors, and change it. Later when you are free from your supervisor you can title your papers whatever you want. This seems like an easy option... best at this stage?

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