I've been working on a research paper in the field of education with co-authors for the past year. I know both of these individuals professionally for several years. One is a more seasoned author than the other, and I am the most published author.
The manuscript is currently back from review and we are working on the revisions. We also co-authored and presented at a national conference presentation last year. My status in both is second author. My co-authors/collaborators are newly tenured, and one is not tenured. I am a retired professor who is still active in research.
My plan was to attend this research conference and I am looking through the program and I found that my 2 co-authors are on the program to talk about the topic of our paper! I also see that their abstract includes ideas and references from sections that I wrote in the paper.
When I asked why I was not included one responded, "so sorry, that was so unethical" while the other said she got the invitation to present and it was quick turnaround. They both offered to have me on the program but only after I found out. Both have apologized for both not inviting me, although if I hadn't found their presentation, I am not sure either would have told me.
They did not apologize for using my ideas and citations of other research in the abstract because "currently our paper is unpublished" and they did not see a need to cite our paper? Yet, my ideas were used without my consent or knowledge.
One author tried to make the claim of 'ownership,' and basically no one owns ideas. I responded it's an issue of authorship. I did 'pen' my ideas to that paper and since we formatted the paper in a dialogic format (narrative research), it's clear to see where my ideas begin and end. I see it as plagiarism.
So, there is an issue of excluding me as a co-author in a conference presentation, not citing our paper in the abstract which I consider self-plagairism as well as not citing me-plagiarism.
What do you all think? What would provoke 2 co-authors to do this? Am I correct in my assessment of the issues of authorship and plagiarism? What strategies would you recommend for addressing co-authors and collaborators who don't understand what I consider to be basic professional etiquette, but also have a motive that appears to be more devious? One co author appears to be more sincere and apologetic but the other one, I think the one who submitted the proposal appears cold, and indifferent.