Two years ago, I was about three weeks (fortunately I keep notes) into a postdoc research position with a federal government organization, and I was excited to participate in a meeting with a federal researcher who was asking for help with ideas after a paper was rejected by journal reviewers for lacking any kind of validation of the results or approach.
During the meeting, the researcher presented the model, and I pointed out that rather than constructing an empirical distribution for P(y=1|x), the method was estimating P(x|y=1), which none of the internal or journal reviewers had noticed. I suggested two ways out: sort it out with Bayes' theorem or take an entirely different approach by creating a binary dataset with y taking on 0 or 1 instead of just 1, which was possible due to the sampling scheme.
The researcher took my second idea and quickly published a paper using that idea and included a long list of other folks in the author list and acknowledgments, but there is no mention of my contribution or name.
Now I am writing a paper about my own research that implements the same idea, but with substantial enhancements, and as I contemplate the literature review, I am extremely aware that I would be citing my own idea as the foundation for my approach, but with no obvious way to let the world know that it was my idea or that I contributed in any way.
A footnote explaining my role in the cited research seems weak because it would lack corroboration (unless I put the federal researcher's name on the author list [their only role was providing the dataset, which anyone can ask for and receive], a topic that is a whole other can of worms...).
I am also hoping to move on from being a postdoc, so I'm trying to accumulate recommendations so I can take the next steps in my career. I am working with the same federal researcher on another project (that they lead) and I get lots of credit for my ideas that have greatly modernized the approach and for teaching the team all about it. I have been expecting to rely on this researcher for glowing and detailed recommendations, which makes this a bit more difficult...
Broadly, this research is in the area of biostatistics and software development.