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One of my collaborators recently sent me a link to a video of someone presenting at a professional conference. In the presentation, they use some of my published research that I did as an intern, including figures from my paper, but they never credit me in the presentation.

I have several questions about this:

  1. Is this normal or is this something that I should be credited for?
  2. Is it typical for someone to contact you before using your research in a presentation?
  3. Is it worth contacting the company about this?

On the one hand, I'm happy that more people are seeing my research. On the other, it feels a little upsetting to see my research getting presented without getting the credit for it.

  • Were they presenting the work as their own, or as a presentation of your paper? – Davidmh Nov 16 '15 at 19:26
  • They were presenting it as "our work" at the company and they credit one of my co-authors. – Zai Nov 16 '15 at 19:49
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Is this normal or is this something that I should be credited for?

No, it is not normal practice; yes, you should be credited whenever a result from a paper for which you are a co-author is mentioned. The only exception I can think of is if the paper has several authors and is cited in the style "[first author] et al. (2014) showed that ...". Even then, one would typically expect the presentation to include a full citation at the end that explicitly mentions your name as a coauthor.

Is it typical for someone to contact you before using your research in a presentation?

They do not need to contact you before mentioning your research in the presentation (and it is not typical for anyone to do such a thing), as long as two conditions hold: a. the research that they are going to mention has been published or is otherwise publicly available, and b. they credit you by name in their presentation as I stated above.

Is it worth contacting the company about this?

That depends. What are you hoping to achieve by contacting the company? It seems very difficult to judge from the details you provide whether this was some kind of egregious, intentional misrepresentation by the person in the video, or whether it was an accidental omission due to sloppiness or perhaps not copying correctly the list of authors. If it was the latter, although it is still a bit annoying I wouldn't bother complaining - at most I would send a friendly note to the presenter to politely call their attention to the fact that I am also a coauthor of the paper they cited, so that they can correct the error the next time they use this presentation. If it was the former and there is a clear intent to deceive or other unethical aspect, I may seriously consider contacting the company to complain.

4

You clearly said that your paper is published and has your name on it. No matter who presents this paper or this work, your name will be forever there. Everyone who will lookup this paper to find out more about this research will see that you are a co-author, regardless of who actually presented it.

TL, DR; I would not worry too much about it.

  • 2
    I think the concern in the question was that they were not cited in the presentation itself. Though the wording is a bit ambiguous on the OP's part. – tonysdg Nov 17 '15 at 0:49
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In theory, any errata should use the same medium and address the same audience. If an article is incorrect, the corrections should be published in the same journal.

In this case, it is unlikely that the same people will be called to another meeting, where they will be told that authorship was misrepresented last time. So there is no practical way to get redress. This situation is double-edged: on one hand, you have been slighted, but on the other, your slight has already been forgotten. Those people wouldn't remember your name even if it were said. So live and let live.

If we are talking about something more persistent - for example, a TED talk with millions of viewers on Youtube -, you could seek arbitration from the video host. Just like with journals, there will be some the initial hoops. But in the end, the video host will deal with it in a manner dictated really by what your lawyers could do to other guy's lawyers. I am not a lawyer, but I suspect it is cheaper than going to court, and gets the same results, burned bridges included.

There may be a way to kindly ask the other person so that this mistake will not be repeated. But its success depends on the personalities involved.

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