- Under my mentor's guidance and support, I've been working on a paper that has really bloomed.
- It is exciting technically and scientifically - the technology invented and the new findings it uncovered are both novel and impactful.
- My mentor really pushed me to add additional analysis and the paper improved under their rigor.
- Over the course of a year, we met with a number of experts to discuss our findings and they have been nothing but supportive.
- Skeptical at first, my mentor came around to accept the results (after talking to said experts and validating the results using orthogonal datasets) and we began discussing which journal to send this to.
- Without much warning, my mentor withdrew their name from the paper. The reason cited is they feel the work belongs to me and they claim it is only fair I am the corresponding author.
- As a graduate student, I know I cannot publish without my mentor's support.
- More seriously, I know I cannot graduate without a paper including my supervisor.
- If it were lack of confidence in the results, we spent nearly a year talking and confirming with experts + validating with orthogonal analysis to confirm our results.
- This was clearly supported by my mentor since its inception and I am confused they would pull out as the project is nearing completion.
- Lastly, when I tried to engage with my supervisor to hear their concerns (via a meeting), they deflected - saying no need, citing again this work belongs to me.
- I considered at length if I offended my supervisor, as this felt like a punishment somehow; I apologized for what I thought were wrongdoings, but again was told this was not part of their concern.
I suspect the underlying reason is not what my supervisor told me. I am also confused they won't engage with me. They are extremely senior and there is no point talking to my PhD program director (who is not in a position to direct my supervisor). What is the right thing to do now!?