When applying for a postdoc, I submitted writing samples from my dissertation. After I was accepted, I added to the institution's library a number of texts that I cited in my research. (This was a small library in the research center that was started by the postdocs, containing no more than a few dozen books.) I developed some of the ideas from my dissertation and workshopped a paper on related matters with faculty members in the research cluster. I published that paper and acknowledged funding and input on earlier drafts. A couple years later a professor who supervised me, who never worked on related matters before, published a book in exactly my area, citing books I added to the library, utilizing original concepts and analytics from the paper I workshopped and published. The book does not acknowledge me or reference my work. I have an email trail showing the sharing of these ideas and documents. What should I do?

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    Does the person still have any authority over you?
    – Buffy
    Oct 7 at 12:20
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    citing books I added to the library --- I don't understand how this is relevant. When going to the library to look for books on a certain topic, books that I might later decide to cite, it has never occurred to me that I should investigate who was responsible for obtaining the books (if in fact it was a non-library staff who suggested their purchase or donated them) in order to acknowledge them. And even if I tried, I suspect that in over 99.9% of the cases (probably higher), no one on the library staff would know. And what about books obtained by interlibrary loan? Oct 7 at 12:29
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    @PostdocinFearofRetaliation The size of the library is not really relevant; if someone used those books, they have to cite them. Citing those books is not plagiarism of you. I think the commenters (and this would also apply to me) are hesitant to recommend steps for you to take if it is unclear whether what occurred was actually plagiarism, because the text of your question suggests you may not have a good handle on it. These are serious accusations, and making serious accusations that are not founded can really blow back on you. I'm also unclear why "writing samples" are relevant.
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 7 at 16:27
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    While the stuff about books placed in the library definitely doesn't constitute plagiarism, 'a professor... published a book in exactly my area... utilizing original concepts and analytics from the paper I workshopped and published. The book does not acknowledge me or reference my work' does. Unfortunately, textbooks, as a rule, tend to be quite sloppy about citing the original sources of the ideas they set forth. Oct 7 at 17:13
  • 4
    Is there a reason you don't want to speak to the professor directly? Oct 7 at 18:01

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