The case of the disappearing paper I found this situation so fascinating that I just have to share it. This story involves a female postdoc, who is usually very nice and generally a great person to work with. The story also involves a female graduate student who is also very nice and hard working. As is customary for new graduate students, this graduate student was performing one of her rotations to determine what lab she will be doing her PhD in. And her rotation in which she worked under this female postdoc went very well. She learned a lot and performed a bunch of useful experiments. In fact, some of her data was useful enough to be included in a publication and she was going to be included as a coauthor. Not bad for a couple weeks work, right? She must have been thinking about how many papers she would publish if she joined the lab. Several weeks after her rotation finished the lab realized that the work she did couldn’t be included in the publication and as a result she would no longer be an author on the publication. At this time the student was taking courses and deciding which lab to join. At some point the student notified the lab that she decided to join. But did the lab tell her they decided to take her off the publication? Of course not! I asked the postdoc if she thought the graduate student should be notified about the publication change given that it might influence her decision to join the lab or not. The postdoc thought that it was a nonissue. So the graduate student joined the lab and the female postdoc got a job somewhere else, leaving the student with no one to train under and the student is currently floundering. I didn’t do so well in ethics class, but I can’t help but feel something is wrong here. Any thoughts?
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