X gave some nanoparticles to Y lab 2 years ago. I worked on biological characterization of these particles in Y lab as a postdoc (second postdoc) and wrote a manuscript at the end of my 2 year contract. X lab had said when I joined Y lab that their work on the nanoparticles was almost ready for publication (so approximately 3 years) but till now they have not published the work.

Three years later, they haven't published the synthesis work. Now it is about a year since I left Y lab and there has been lack of communication across teams. Y lab people do not want to annoy X lab but do not have any plan in place of what is to be done. Y lab doesn't keep me in the loop and only when I ask they respond with a lame excuse for delay. If I question the excuse they ignore me till I send them a few follow-ups only with a new excuse.

Is there are any workaround the situation of the materials provided if I were to publish? And also if there is no technical reason, Y lab cannot keep blocking my paper from being put on the preprint server at least. So if at all they wash their hands off the paper (I don't think they will back off easily), how can I go about the issue of the materials provided that we used in our study if X lab refuses to be coauthors?

  • 1
    Read a similar story to this on this site a while back...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 17:23
  • 2
    Read this you may find it interesting : academia.stackexchange.com/q/105056/72855
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 17:28
  • Thanks solarMike. The link is interesting. The plan is such. Since I only have one sided information from Y and do not know what exactly X had to say. I intend to email all coauthors with a deadline to respond soon. They can decide if they want to be a part of this paper or if not decide not to be. There is just one figure which could come from X which I will remove and try to submit atleast to a preprint server. If Y complains then i will try to tell them I dont want to make it dirty but if they insist I am going to the ethics committee as its unethical to stall my career Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 19:48
  • Talk to the ethics committee or someone who knows and good luck.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 20:32
  • I managed to speak to a previous colleague from the same lab and he had the same issues as well. So Y lab seems to have a pattern of poorly managed collaborations. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


I have complained about that issue to ethics committee, unfortunately, they did not give me convincing answer, so I am trying to follow up this issue from my university side as a former PhD student. I suggest you first contact the ethics committee. Also, if you are in Europe, you can contact ALLEA (All European Academics) they are not responsible to solve these issues but when I contacted them, there are really nice people to guide you and they will tell you, who you can contact about these types of issue.

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