The supervisor for my PhD thesis has recently published a paper with another student. In this paper, the other student has replicated one of the chapters of my PhD thesis for publication.
For reference, after completing my PhD I moved into the public sector and did not publish my thesis work myself, due to concerns with the underlying methodology.
However, of the five figures in this new paper, two figures have been taken directly from my published thesis. This is very easy to prove, as some of the figures are photographs and are identical to the work published in my thesis. My thesis is available as a digital download online at the same research institution my supervisor currently works at.
I wasn't consulted regarding the publication or use of my research, and was not listed as an author on the new paper (or even in the acknowledgements). The figures they have published were produced solely by myself, without assistance from my supervisor or the other student.
This finding makes me question whether they did indeed repeat the initial experiment, or whether they instead used the leftover materials from my research (specifically, extracted RNA/cDNA) to re-run a handful of analyses and republish my thesis chapter without me.
I have contacted my supervisor by email for clarification, but my questions are:
- Is this academic misconduct and/or plagiarism?
- If so, what is the appropriate avenue to follow to correct/resolve/dispute this? (e.g. is it appropriate to contact the journal or my supervisor's university to report this? What are the first steps?)