Article contribution - person leaving

12-Nov-17, 13:52
by lucedan
Avatar for lucedan
posted about 11 months ago
Dear all,

I am having a little problem with a researcher in regards to an article, and I would like to know your opinion as I have never dealt with a similar case before.

The idea is that I am a music composer, and one day I partook in a meeting of psychologists to ask for collaboration for a perceptual test that I was working on, as I miss the skills to analyse the results of my experiment and the vocabulary of the psychological field.

This experiment was exploratory, and the idea has obtained some interesting comments and very good feedback within my field, so that another PhD psychology student said to me that he would have liked to work with me on it.

I have so made the experiment all by myself (let's say a total of 120 hours for design, preparation of the room for each participant, actual test, etc.), and I have presented it at 2 conferences and started working on the article.

This person said to me: 'I am writing my PhD thesis so I have little time, but I can give you some help'.
So I replied: 'don't worry. Finish your thesis, submit, so we can later conclude this work. Do you think that we could send this for review before the end of the year?'. 'Sure we'll do it!!'.

In this time I have written the complete literature review, hypothesis of the experiment, methodology and participants. A few days ago he said to me this:

'I am sorry, man. I am preparing for the Viva and I have really too many things to do for it. I think that as for the experiment, it is not ready for a publication'
'Have you got time to make other experiments? We could do this and this and this (meaning that I should have done those)'

My experiment showed a statistical difference among types of participants in reaction to a musical concept.
He proposed a nice new experiment, but with a different focus.

(continue below)
12-Nov-17, 14:00
edited about 23 seconds later
by lucedan
Avatar for lucedan
posted about 11 months ago
So that I said: 'well, that could be an experiment for the future. Don't worry, I will write the analysis by myself following some samples and then I will send it to you for corrections'.

Reply: 'Man, that takes time'.

My reply: 'Of, but can you provide me with the results?'

He said 'yes, no prob for those'.

then he ended by saying:
'You should not speak about your ideas to people, as they can steal those to you. But don't worry, I won't talk about it to anybody. If you want we can have a beer next time'.

Now, to be honest, I didn't like this last sentence so much, but I could be seeing it wrong.
In any case he did not contribute to the paper BUT he directed me a little, as for example: 'for the literature review, you could write one sentence describing each paper you have written that could relate to this case'.
Two weeks later: 'now create links between the sentences'.

And he has provided me with some analysis not for the article but for one of the 2 conference that I have mentioned before.

He could be really have some time-management problems, who knows, but the fact is that I have already wasted months to wait for him to finish all his commitments as he told me and I really need a collaborator to write down those things that I cannot do, and for this reason I am thinking whether I should ask somebody else to help me (maybe someone more interested in the matter of music).

What should I interpret all this? And what can I do?
12-Nov-17, 16:14
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 11 months ago
Just be honest with the person, say that you want to ask someone else to help write the article, and ask him whether he thinks he should still be an author and go from there. You can get it published with the other person and decide between you and this first person whether he should also be included as an author or not.
12-Nov-17, 19:41
Avatar for newlease36
posted about 11 months ago
I agree with Tree Of Life, find someone who is interested and willing to commit the time. That should be fairly easy, since its a not a massive amount of work and they get to be second author.

As for the first guy, he did let you down, but he also did contribute, so if he wants his name on paper (as third author) I personally wouldn't create a massive fuss. People get very territorial over names on papers and since him being listed as third author doesn't affect you negatively I would just go with it.

But I think when you ask next person for help, maybe be a little assertive, (while respecting they are senior) about what you need from them and set out a timeline for when you want to submit. Sure it may seem like they are doing you a favour and they are in a way, but you are also doing them a favour too. personally I would jump at the chance to be a second author.

Good luck


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