This happened in my group. One of the master students in our group had a manuscript derived from her thesis, and the manuscript was planned to publish with she and her advisor (who is the PI of our group) to be the authors. However, she put the manuscript on the internet some time ago without the advisor's consent (I learned that she put it on research-gate publicly). The PI got furious about this and said that what the student did was disrespectful to him as a co-author, and he would no longer co-author this work (this happened in our group meeting from which I heard of the event).
Here are some facts about this event that comments request me to tell to make things clear.
- The manuscript is almost finished but still under some revision by the time she put it on the internet.
- The student exposed the PI as the co-author in the unfinished the manuscript on the internet, and she did it without the PI's consent.
- Consensus on co-authorship was reached before this event happened, so I assume the PI deserves the authorship.
- The PI said to the student that he would from then on have no relation with the work, but he hoped she could revise the work as best as she can.
- The paper fortunately was read by no one on research-gate.
Although I know making a manuscript accessible to the public without consent from all co-authors is illegal , but the action my PI choose to deal with it, i.e., no longer co-author the work is still surprising to me. What's his point of doing so? Is this so serious an issue that he has to do so? Why he don't even give the student a chance to right her wrongs? I newly learned that the paper was withdrawn, but attitude of the PI remains unchanged. Is the student still unforgivable even after she withdrew the manuscript?
I also have further questions: What should the student do with the almost finished work? Simply bury it in history or try to publish herself? At least in my point of view, neither is a good solution. Since our PI was soooo angry, I don't even dare ask the PI why he took such an extreme action. So I am asking here.