I am a PhD candidate working on a component of a larger, transnational project that my professor got funded by an external donor. In this project, I am to work with two other PhD candidates and a Master's student, each taking care of a different study area. While we focus on different countries, the scopes of everyone's research share key elements (i.e. assessment framework and social survey) that we were supposed to individually develop, specifically for our own research interest. However, as others received setbacks of various kinds in their progress, I was told that they will all use the framework and survey that I developed for my own study area, and slightly edit them to add to their own theses.

I developed this framework and created the survey questions from scratch, with months of literature review, and discussions with colleagues and experts. I intend to publish both as a stand alone manuscript, hopefully in a respectable journal. Therefore, I would like to make sure that the others in the team credit me in their manuscripts, either as a source or a co-author.

Here comes my issue with this arrangement. My professor has made no mention of me being credited in the other people's work and I have received no reassurance from others that they will credit me. To add on another layer of difficulty, we all have different committees and presumably, their publications (and all related decisions on me being credited) will need to be approved by all members of their committees.

As my professor has not touched on this point in any of our team meetings, how do I politely raise my voice and make sure that my work is justly credited in this case?

  • my colleague had similar experience. It turned out the professor just forgot that. You can just remind him/her politely -- something like I have done XXX, if the contribution is not enough to be an co-author, may I be acknowledged? something like that Dec 29, 2023 at 3:59

1 Answer 1


It is possible that this is simply an oversight at this point and people aren't yet thinking about specific authorship and attribution. That isn't ideal, of course, but it happens.

Have a talk with your supervisor and raise the concern that you do here. It isn't impolite. You have put in considerable effort and it contributes positively to all the work. You would like to be able to validly claim some credit for your CV but that others need to agree to this. Ask the supervisor to raise the issue with the group and try to get some consensus.

Once the issue is raised, preferably through your supervisor, it is harder to put off. I don't see any misconduct here, though there is potential for it to occur. A conversation can, possibly, avoid problems in the future. But, don't think of it as impolite. You are an actor here, not a spectator unduly claiming credit.

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