I'm an external consultant who has been brought to develop a software suite to collect, analyze and reduce data for a project (with oral assurance that I would participate to any paper to come from this project).
Since then, the IT engineer assigned to the project has filed a complaint arguing that hiring me was a waste of lab resources (even if the suite was provided on time with no overcost) which resulted being in not being hired for the follow-up to this project.
Drama aside, I know that a publication resulting from the data processed through the suite I developed is underway. I tried to voice my right to examine, but was denied, again on the IT engineer's (who is participating to the paper) good word: he argues that I have no right to participate as developing software is neither original nor a research task.
From my point of view, this is simply not true: The software I've developed was tailor-made for this project and incorporate elements based on the state of the art in both data collection and analysis.
I know that what qualifies someone to be included in the authors of a paper varies widely among fields of work (my previous experience is a Ph.D. in solid-state physics, I'm talking about medical research here). Am I justified in wanting to be included in the paper?
I can see several reasons why it's important to me:
I want to validate the interpretation done.
Getting a paper for this project was for me a mean to prove my proficiency to further clients in this field of study.
Pride, also ? :)