I was employed as a post-doctoral fellow at some institute, and left it a couple of years ago. When I left, it was on ok terms with my host (= person who invited me and arranged for funding for my stay) - although our relationship had not always been on the positive side, and we ended up collaborating only here-and-there rather than closely. We both have a negative view of some aspects of the other's personality.
Anyway, I've noticed that members of the research group - some junior ones, but also my host - have published a certain paper a few months. This paper is mostly not about my own work, but it presents a certain concept which (*) I was studying and developing; these ideas are now in work that I've published - but mostly on ArXiV and not in peer-reviewed venues. I've also sent an email link and an invitation to read it to a bunch of people in my field - including my post-doc host and one of his junior co-authors.
The paper does not mention any of the above; makes no reference to my work or to me; and says something like "In this paper we introduce the concept of X".
Now, my work is much wider than just that concept (it fits into a larger theoretical framework); and the paper does something with this concept which I didn't explore nor write about. So it's not a case of brazenly stealing results.
A final point is that this work of mine has not yet gotten any (non-self) citations, which makes this situation sting more.
- Considering the circumstances, should I even get in contact with my former host and/or other co-authors about this, or should I just drop it? Especially seeing how this paper is already published and has made its rounds for a few months? I am worried that this will just develop into a fight involving third parties, a sort of a "crusade run remotely" on my part, and end up hurting more than it helps.
- Assuming I do contact my former host about this - How diminutive/coy/reserved should I be in a first email about this?
- What can I / should I ask for as a rectification of the situation?
(If you'd like more information, please ask in the comments.)