I am working on a manuscript of a project that I am first author on, and am wondering whether it is proper to include person X. X has been gone from the lab for 3 years, and none of her data is in the manuscript or really informed the conclusions. However, my experimental design (for one figure out of 8) is very similar to her original plan, although the analysis is different. It's not clear if the original idea was X's, or my PIs (it was a pretty natural extension from a paper we read in journal club). Any advice about whether X should be a coauthor? Does anyone have any examples of this happening, and what was the outcome from each perspective?
Update: thank you for all the input! To clarify: 1. My PI was actually the one who asked ME for my opinion in this situation - I think she was on the fence. But you're right that it is her job to make the final call, she was there when the original pilot experiments were performed.
The experimental tools were not new, they are common/published already. The details of the design (I.e. vary x in increments of 5) were the former student's
Looks like we are planning (at least at the conference stage, could always change when paper is closer to submission) towards not including X