My friend and I have been researching on a topic since when we were doing our master degrees. We were preparing to submit the next chapter of the research to a publication (we already have an article published on the matter), when the coordinating teacher decided to introduce another individual, one of his phD students, into the team, probably to get a higher count of published articles.

Now, this guy never worked on the project, and he didn't really know what it was about. Worse, the coordinating teacher asked him to write the article for us (so as not to give him an article for free), and boy he screwed it up.

He made really bad English mistakes, he didn't format the document properly, he left things in our native language and he forgot to delete some of the template text from the document.

The worst part is that he never sent the "final form" of the article to either me or my friend. As a result, all of these mistakes came down on our heads when the reviewers declined the "paper", rightfully so. He even "forgot" to put me as an author in this research, but my friend caught word of this and forced him to put me in there too. This could have easily escalated to legal trouble in my country, since this is intellectual theft.

I sent to them both (coordinating teacher and new guy) an email in which I said that this problem could have been easily avoided should the new guy had actually played as a team player and send the paper for peer review to the rest of the team. Was I wrong in doing so?

EDIT: I am more concerned about the fact that the teacher forced this guy into the team so he can get "free" research points without actually doing any research. As this guy is backed by the teacher, by calling up on his mistake may worsen the relationship between me and that teacher.

So the question can be rephrased to a more general one: how to deal with such a situation when the responsible for the failure is someone backed up by the teacher, but who has no actual contribution to the research?

closed as unclear what you're asking by xLeitix, Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩, BrianH, Ben Crowell, JeffE Aug 12 '16 at 21:20

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    You seems pretty sure that you're right and have lined up all accusations. Why do you want us to tell you if you're wrong? What I can comment is that given what is presented, the last e-mail part appeared to be done professionally. Yet, I can't judge the whole thing; this kind of question posts is never objective. I do wish your plead had led to an improvement and the project has then moved forward smoothly. Also consider rewording the question because the last sentence sounds like an opinion poll, but your topic question seems interesting. – Penguin_Knight Aug 12 '16 at 13:42
  • I just want to hear another option on this matter, because the new guy was forced as part of the team, so he can get "free" credit, which is a common practice in my country. You could say he had support from the teacher, so this may very well make my relationship with the teacher who vouched from him worse, since I called him up on his mistake. – mihaiconst Aug 12 '16 at 13:53
  • Then the concern should be better included in the question. – Penguin_Knight Aug 12 '16 at 14:19
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    I voted to close as I am really not sure what the question here is. Yes, this is terrible, but you already know that. What does telling you again help? – xLeitix Aug 12 '16 at 14:48
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    I rephrased the question to represent a more general situation. Others might encounter a similar situation, and I haven't seen anything related to this kind of problems here. – mihaiconst Aug 12 '16 at 14:49

As a teacher, if I were to put a student in a team, is for the student to join and learn; and possibly (as it may be your case), to relieve the team from some tedious work. And actually, writing down a paper could be a good way of making sure he understands everything that has been done. Assuming there is no favouritism, I don't have any reason to make the guy get "research points" if he doesn't learn something in the process. So, if I am convinced he is affecting negatively an otherwise successful team, he is going to get little sympathy from me.

On the other hand, you are in a bit of a "he said-she said" situation, so you have to be careful and show that you have tried to collaborate with your teammate and attempted to solve the problem in a civilised manner. Show that when he joined the team, you didn't just dump the task on his lap and forget about him, but you actively tried to help and teach him what you did (because you tried to help, right?).

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