During my master thesis I have been working on a project. The professor used a good bunch of my work and included it in a publication. She even requested some of the data at the beginning of the year, which I provided for her. She did not put my name on the publication. The paper has been already published. Is there anything I can do in such case?

Edit: I did not have any publication based on this project. And there is an acknowledgment part, but my name is not there. The data was used for the core of the paper. The ex-supervisor contacted me earlier this year to send her my data, claiming that she lost everything on her hard disk. Then she used all that in the paper. She even put 12 authors on the publication, needless to say, most of them did not contribute. Half of the experimental section and analysis part is my work. I mean even if she didn't want to put my name on it, at least she could have let me know that she is publishing the data.

  • If you have the evidence that it was your work then you can send it to the editor and claim it is yours... but the consequences may well be final, evidence of another excellent advisor sadly...
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 16, 2019 at 10:26
  • Welcome to the site @Zsuzsanna please edit the question to add these details of your last comment. Have you looked to other questions and answers around (I think similar questions have been answered but maybe you are already aware and you didn't find complete enough)
    – llrs
    Sep 16, 2019 at 13:13
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    Was your thesis published, e.g. through an online service offered by the university? Is there any dated copy of your thesis (in some archive, at the chair where you graduated,...) that can prove that you did the stuff first?
    – Dirk
    Sep 16, 2019 at 14:33
  • This is textbook unethical behaviour, probably in breach of their institution policy and of the journal policy. Regarding your options, I'd say it depends to what extent you are willing and/or can afford to publicly accuse this person, taking into account potential side effects in the school? I mean are you still in the same school, working with people who might be close to this person?
    – Erwan
    Sep 16, 2019 at 15:02
  • Are you sure you were left out intentionally? Your first step either way needs to be to talk to your advisor. There's no benefit to her to leave you off. Was novelty a requirement of your thesis? Because it would be contradictory for an advisor to say your research was novel enough to graduate but not novel enough for co-authorship. Sep 16, 2019 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, your institution is the most likely avenue for recourse in these situations. I believe most journals leave it up the authors to sort this out and direct you to your university or institution for adjudication, despite spelling out the various and detailed criteria for authorship. Even if the editor agrees with you, any authorship changes after publication must be approved by all the current authors. I don't mean to be overly cynical but getting your name on that paper would require an exceptionally ethical and proactive worker/administrator at your institution. Seems like quite the uphill battle to me... Here are the relevant links to Nature and Science:



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