I’ve been irritable about that manuscript that got submitted without me having had a chance to even look at it prior to submission. When I did read it, I realized that a significant number of the figures and the corresponding figure legends were missing. So, turns out I didn’t even have much of the data. I had some correspondence with the person who did the submitting … to ask why the paper was submitted without giving the opportunity to all the co-authors to review the manuscript…. and I was basically told that 1. Others had already reviewed the manuscript, 2. All my proposed changes were probably minor and the manuscript was well written. I know nothing, I’ll go away and just be grateful.
Wait–… no. So I said to the operative person… maybe this was an honest mistake- just so you know it’s not OK to do such a thing REGARDLESS of who read/edited the manuscript previously… – which is fine and it isn’t a problem if you didn’t know, and would you send me the rest of the data?
And I was met with… Yes, I knew I was supposed to show this to all the co-authors… but I didn’t because: 1. The content of the manuscript wasn’t very complex, 2. The journal didn’t request a signed permission form, 3. Co-authors take forever to give back comments.
????!! Ok. First off, now I’m just plain MAD. I don’t care if God was a co-author and reviewed that manuscript and found it to be perfect. If my name is on it, I want to see it prior to submission. Full Stop. Second- I gave you a nice out to plead ignorance on this one (and you are in a plausible position to be ignorant about such things), but your response is that you did this on purpose- with full knowledge that what you did was wrong, and furthermore I should get out of your face about it. I feel disrespected, I feel shoved off to the side, I feel that my contribution isn’t valued other than to be expert labor for a particular procedure. I feel used. (I’ll get over it, as I had visions of a pattern…).
What struck me most about this particular incident though- was the response to my frustration from colleagues of different genders. The trend among the XY (not all of them but many, and I’m HEAVILY paraphrasing) was- there’s nothing you can do, let it go, saying something would just rock the boat for no reason. Strangely, the response of the XY mirrored my own inherent… don’t rock the boat unless absolutely necessary tendency. However, the trend among the XX was – you are not being respected, you can not let this person talk to you like this and should talk to this person’s supervisor, you are a junior person- this is the field you are going to be in for your whole career- you should not let this go as is.
Increase the N of my sample size, tell me what you would do. Tell me if standing up for yourself at the risk of making someone mad (or maybe multiple people mad), is worth the taking even if it won’t change the outcome of the situation. Or not.