Ok, this time I mean REALLY out of the loop and I dislike being out of the loop in this way. Here’s the story. I am out of the office because the wonderful woman who takes care of my two daughters during the summer has the day off (I’m working Saturday- just in case you think I’m a lazy slacker). I received an email- with an attached manuscript. The email to which the manuscript is attached basically says- dear co-authors- we are submitting this manuscript today. Today- this morning actually- with that email- is the first time I have laid eyes on this manuscript to which I am a co-author.
So, I start reading the manuscript- and I start editing (because I’m pathologic about this)- and there are a few nomenclature and writing type things that need fixing that I see straight off… I haven’t even gotten down to the data yet- so I send the primary author a brief email saying… here are a couple of things you might want to fix- thinking that if they are going to submit it at the end of the day they might actually appreciate a little input- and I might catch something they have missed. My younger daughter is napping so I have a minute for this right now. I promptly get an email back saying… Sorry but we have already submitted the manuscript. SAY WHAT???
I guess I was under the mistaken impression that co-authors should at least get a look at the data and the manuscript BEFORE it gets submitted. Now, I don’t want to be the moral authority (I gave up being the moral authority on just about everything long ago)- and I’m just going to say that straight off- and I am a somewhere-in-the-middle author on this paper- but geez- it is not like I’m an undergraduate student worker (and I’ve had many excellent undergraduate student workers but rarely one who could make useful contributions to a manuscript because they generally just lack experience here).
I am stuck between some very senior people on this deal- and pretty much all the conversation goes on without my input, despite the fact that I think this project is really, really cool and would put a terrific effort into it if afforded the opportunity. And I was put on this manuscript for a couple of critical things I helped with, which was generous.- so I feel like I should just be grateful and quit complaining. And I don’t want to ruffle any feathers- because said senior people can influence my T-T survival- and people can be odd about this sort of thing. But- I’ve got this sore spot about being the afterthought- it really REALLY bothers me, and I feel trapped.
When I told my husband this tale- he said- are there any flaws in the data…? And I have to say… Geez honey- How would I know? I didn’t have the data prior to submission.