I have worked for a project of a Ex-Postdoc, as I was promised an authorship. I was told “You will be a major author”. I did almost all the labor job as postdoc was my cosupervisor too. I trusted the person.

This was while ago and I had inquire PI few times how is the current status of the project. I got told they are preparing a manuscript several times about a year.

Now I sense manuscript is about to submit and I have not heard back. I need the promised authorship.

After reading an answer from SE politely refusing authorship opportunity?

As they can publish without giving credit to me, I am worried thinking what can I do if they it publish bypassing me. As a international student I do not think I have any support around.

Could it be possible to write to the editor of the journal then?

  • 4
    What is a "major author"? You seem to assume that you are going to be left off the paper, even though all the information you have is to the contrary. Is there more to this? Sep 8, 2020 at 15:19
  • 3
    They are risking plagiarism.
    – Buffy
    Sep 8, 2020 at 15:28
  • 2
    Have you tried asking the PI "will I be an author of the paper?" and "do you want me to help writing or review the methods section?"
    – Louic
    Sep 8, 2020 at 15:50
  • Hi Prof. Ketcheson, Major author = second authorship. I conducted the biological experiments and samples were sent to different groups to analyze. So I don’t have access for data.
    – Dendrobium
    Sep 9, 2020 at 11:56
  • 1
    @Louic This is an brainstorming answer. Thanks a heap. 🙏🏽
    – Dendrobium
    Sep 9, 2020 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


I would contact the PI/supervisor and say that you are aware that the publication is still in preparation and that you expect to be a co-author of it. But you should also offer to continue to participate in the development in whatever way is appropriate.

You should, at least, have an opportunity to proof the paper before submission.

  • You could request an opportunity to proofread before submission
    – user2768
    Sep 8, 2020 at 15:45
  • Thank you @Buffy . This is indeed helpful.
    – Dendrobium
    Sep 9, 2020 at 11:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .