I am writing this on behalf of a friend of mine.
Two years ago, my friend worked in a research institute in Canada. He collaborated with a colleague and someone else who heard of their collaboration decides that his work can also benefit from this collaboration. This third person contacted my friend and my friend supplied the material, initiated contact with some other group which had more experience in this matter, started the labwork and taught him how to continue the labwork in his absence. Before this work matured enough for publication, he started working for another research institute in another country.
However, today, he found out that the work is submitted for publication, yet his name was not in the list of coauthors. He spoke to the listed coauthors and they all agree that his contributions should have granted him a spot among the coauthors.
My friend says that he had a hard time to deal with this colleague. Apparently, he has the habit of ignoring verbal exchanges when it suits him and he is only afraid of his supervisor, who is not easy to reach.
It is always possible to include new authors during the revision process and it is usually possible to include new authors after the publication is accepted but not yet published. However, once it is published, it cannot be changed.
The options of my friend is:
- Contacting the supervisor
- Writing an e-mail to the primary author with all the coathors CCed, stating his contributions
- Contacting the editors to delay processing of the paper
Are any other options possible? Is it too hostile to contact the editors?