I‘ve been told (by a PI who is a co-author of the paper) that I cannot submit a jointly authored paper to any journal in my field except Frontiers because anything else is “politically incorrect” or “too slow”.
We have a new method developed with a colleague in a different (more quantitative) field, the results are new, answer an open question and are replicated in two languages.
I found out this week that the PI saying we cannot submit to a regular journal has just had another paper accepted on part of the same topic at a good journal in our field. The findings we have in this paper go against the findings of the paper he wrote five years ago with that group (and I’m guessing maybe against this paper then too, but I have not read this paper).
Is there anything I can do?
At the moment, I have suggested PLOS One as a better alternative to Frontiers, but honestly this is just such a waste - the results are really cool, it took us a year and travelling to get them, and they come from a really good interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m really angry and upset about this - I’m in the third year of a postdoc with no publications, and we finished this data collection over two years ago. Do I have to accept the decision of the PI even though I am first-author and the decision has explicitly not been made on the content, quality or potential readership of our paper?
Note: The paper isn’t a particularly confrontational paper: it just presents previous conflicting results and then shows how the new method is more sensitive and so validates most previous experimental results whilst showing that the theoretical implications people were drawing from them. I‘m sure it’s solid, and I know the co-authors think so too - we had checks worked into the method, replicated it in two languages and again in one of the languages. This type of paper is usually published in a good discipline-specific journal (and it is very rare to have data like this in our field). Both professors are retiring - one already is and wants to use the data in a course he’s teaching - the other retires soon, and is very politically engaged (I have been told to turn down invited talks because they would have involved plane travel). The question is whether as first-author I have any say in where the paper goes.