1

Since it is required to be precise and ask one question at a time, I had to split my problem into two. The first part (background) is mentioned here:

Gifting co-authorship if the topic of research was suggested by my boss?

The second part is here. So, I had finished 40% of a paper 1 as a postdoc in institute X. And, I had resigned from X on 31st of May. After completing the paper 1, I am planning to work and write paper 2 which will be an extension; probably a much advanced version of paper 1. I will start working on paper 2 from July/August and probably submit it in November if everything goes according to the plan. But for paper 2, I need experimental data and even though I had many options for sources to get the data, I thought it was better to seek permission from my boss at X before I use their data.

Also, note that the topic of research for paper 1 was was suggested by my former boss at X, please see the link I mentioned above.

But my boss at X has two conditions: First, I am required to have affiliation of his research unit for paper 2. Second, in the acknowledgement section, I will have to strictly mention that the research of paper 2 was funded by a project grant from his research unit.

In reality, he had the data from the year 2008, from a private seismic survey company XYZ and such data is very regular thing to obtain in any seismic survey. I have such data as well from my previous job profile as a geophysicist. I can easily get more of such data and permission to use them from other companies without any hassle.

As a result of this conflict my relationship with him has also got strained. I tried to clear things with him through a meeting, sent him two emails, but he did not replied. He has probably burnt the bridges and avoids confrontation. He may also be upset from me as I am going away from his clutches. He had even restricted me that I cannot contact the company XYZ directly for asking them for the permission to use the data.

Is this not a form of bullying?

Also he made it sound as if I was stealing their data, on the contrary, I was merely seeking permission to use them. I was kind of miffed with that, not acceptable to me.

I was thinking, that if I am allowed to use the data, I will acknowledge the company, my boss at X and his research unit. Also I would acknowledge him for suggesting me the topic of research for paper 1. Regarding the data permission, I have done this before as well in a different institute with another professor. It was never a problem. A simple acknowledgment sentence in the paper has been sufficient for such purposes.

So how fair are the demands of my boss at X?

2

From what you describe here, the requests for the paper are fair: nothing is asked but a proper description of what you did where, and who funded you and who provided the data that is analyzed. The crucial point is that you say paper 2 is an advanced version/extension of paper 1 you plan to do using data you got at affiliation 1, which I read as both papers are part of wrapping up your scientific output at affiliation 1.

(To me this sounds as if paper 1 is describing the theory and paper 2 describes the application to experimental data - if that's the case, you have two papers closely related to project 1.
Also, how closely related is your project at affiliation 2? The more different that is, the more related to affiliation 1 will paper 2 be seen.)

I am required to have affiliation of his research unit for paper 2. Second, in the acknowledgement section, I will have to strictly mention that the research of paper 2 was funded by a project grant from his research unit.

At least in my field (not geophysics) it is perfectly normal to list an author who changed affiliations with 2 affiliations. From what you say, you'll anyways need to refer to paper with something like "this is an extension of [paper1]" in the introduction. In addition, you can clarify your affiliations in the acknowledgements saying that you started working on the project while at affiliation 1, funded by project 1, and now are at affiliation 2, funded by project 2. If you like, you coul dbe even more specific in describing what was done where.
If your project at affiliation 2 is unrelated, you may give affiliations as "1, now working at 2".

In reality, he had the data from the year 2008, from a private seismic survey company XYZ and such data is very regular thing to obtain in any seismic survey.
I have such data as well from my previous job profile as a geophysicist. I can easily get more of such data and permission to use them from other companies without any hassle.

Whether you could have used other data as well does not matter at all. The point is that you give the proper origin of the data you actually use.
And, regardless whether you use data you got at affiliation 1 or at job 0, you need permission by the respective employer to use that data for new studies or papers. (I'm talking German legislation, things may vary somewhere else, but I guess this is something you can safely extrapolate to other parts of the world).


The only thing you describe that sounds somewhat unusual to me is that prof. 1 asked you to no not contact company XYZ on your own. But we'd require background information by prof. 1 to judge whether this is fine or not.

I do have the impression from your posts, though, that you are still thoroughly stressed about your situation and still too upset to think calmly. One point that triggers this impression in your post is that you write in length about prof. 1 being upset - and are - judging from what your write - thoroughly upset yourself, but never mention taking into account even the possibility that you are also upset.
Seeing this, prof. 1 very clearly spelling out the IMHO usual points in wrapping up publication plans after a change of affiliation may even just be a reaction to you being as upset as you are. (Which does not mean that prof. 1 is not upset, but we academia.sx readers of your question do not have the neceassary background information to judge who else but you is upset.)

  • @ cbeleites. Thanks for your time to write that reply. Paper 2 will show one of the applications of the theory developed in paper 1, so yes they are related. I am doing paper 2 from scratch in a new place, so how can I give the former affiliation and write research was funded by the former institute, when I have already resigned from there. Moreover, I do not intend to use their data anymore. I was ready to acknowledge them for giving access to use their data but writing research for paper 2 was funded by them pushes the boundary too far. Isn't it? – vikash Jun 11 '18 at 14:35
  • @vikash: Well, it is of course difficult to judge these questions from the outside. The important question is how much from scratch is is actually? If your new project were to develop applications for the theory you developed before, the situation would be rather clear cut that paper 2 belongs to the new project. On the other hand: did you really develop the theory without any thought to the application? Or was it developed to solve a problem, and as the work was too much to reasonably fit into 1 paper, the publications were divided into "theory" and "application"? => affiliation 1. – cbeleites supports Monica Jun 11 '18 at 15:56
  • I think of the question this way: did cbeleites¹ contribute sufficiently to become co-author? Did cbeleites² contribute suffic²iently to become co-author? Would cbeleites² have been able to write the paper without the intellectual contributions of cbeleites¹? In your case, without the theory development? I'd say, e.g., if the application served during the development of the theory at affiliation 1, then you did work at the application paper already at affiliation 1. It is sometimes very hard to realized for how long you've been working in the back of your mind at a problem/towards a paper. – cbeleites supports Monica Jun 11 '18 at 16:05
  • @ cbeleites. The two papers are related to each other, I agree. Combining both 1 and 2 will make the paper lose its focus and will be too lengthy. The theory is very general and complete. In paper 2, one of the possible applications will be demonstrated. I am ready to formally acknowledge the previous institute in the acknowledgement section of paper 2, but having that as an affiliation and writing paper 2 research was funded by the previous institute is too much. is it really fair? What if I do not use their data? – vikash Jun 11 '18 at 16:07
  • 1
    Sounds fair to me. But I'm puzzled now, as that is how I understood the "conditions" in your question? I don't see the difference!? – cbeleites supports Monica Jun 11 '18 at 17:32
1

Overall, your old Boss' requirement 1 about affiliation seems fair to me, I have certainly put double affiliations on papers myself, and it is not uncommon. For you, though, it might be a steep price to pay given your history. No one but yourself knows the answer to that question.

The second requirement about mentioning his funding agency, strikes me as a bit more odd. Depending on your situation, you should tread lightly. If the data is obtained under this research grant, you should write something like: "The data for this study was graciously provided by prof. X, funded by grant Z".

"Why?", you might ask. Most likely this is just a formality. But it could be such that prof. X has a grant provider, which he promised to deliver some amount of papers. Since your research is (I assume) in fact not funded by this grant, you would be lying by writing that it is. This could potentially come back to haunt you later, eg. in case you want to apply for grants in the same place.

0

Thanks for refining the question, adding relevant details and linking the previous question. I will simply add a few points to cbeleites' excellent answer.

(1) It isn't bullying because you are asking for permission to use data you got from him. He has the right to give it, deny or something in between. You, reciprocally, have the right to accept it or to negotiate through cajoling, coercing or litigating. It seems pretty symmetric, though unfortunate.

(2) About the fairness of it- the condition to not contact XYZ company seems unfair, especially if he doesn't furnish any reason. I don't know if he can hold you to that. Maybe he has some sort of agreement with them that constrains him, one can't say.

On the other hand if you can access such data as easily as you say, would it be possible to repeat your study with different data? If no, presumably there is something unique in this dataset, which may contribute to the resistance to sharing? [This last point is only speculative logic as I am not from your field]

The part about mentioning the grant seems alright to me, because he isn't constraining you to NOT mention the present affiliation/grant alongside.

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