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A couple of months ago I finished my masters in computer science. A few days a go the following happened.

My main supervisor wrote an abstract of results from my thesis. He put me as the first author along with the two others, and himself.Then he sent a group email informing that the abstract is going to be submitted to a conference. In the email he refers to a previous agreement to submit a paper to this conference.


I have three issues.

  1. I don't remember agreeing to submitting the results anywhere. We did talk about trying to publish the results and I was, at the time, very positive to the idea, but I always understood that we were going to "get back to it" at some point.

  2. I don't want to work on this any more (Nor do I want want my name put on any thing.). There is a reason I didn't apply for any phd position, despite encouragement. Academia stresses me out. I have a job now and am very pleased with that.

  3. His first draft of the abstract was either written to be misleading (over-emphasising a connection to a much cooler subject), or he doesn't understand the context of the results, which makes me feel uncomfortable.


I feel pressured to let them write a paper about the results and put my name on it.. but I'm worried they will misrepresent things and do a bad job. I don't want my name on something I didn't actually write.. even if the results are mine.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Or should/can I put the breaks on the process?

1 Answer 1

Edit: refer to Chris White's answer before this one. Use this only as a last resort only when you are confirmed when the intentions of your supervisor is to exploit you.


It is up your your wish to publish your research findings. That right does not belong to anyone else. As you are the first author of the manuscript, you would be the first to be blamed for anything misinterpreted or flawed in it. I'm not in favor of having your name in any other order other than the first either.

If you are sure that you are not going to work with the same supervisor/ institution in future, you could actively oppose this act. Try to convince your former advisor that you don't want this to be done. It would be also better to leave a note to the head of the respective department with respect to this regard. If he still persists and if you are aware of the conference to which the paper is submitted, send a formal mail to the conference committee about your refusal to submit your paper.

I don't think your former advisor and his associates would try to publish your work again in future after you show how serious you are about not publishing it. This would risk damaging their reputation. If they try to publish it without your name and knowledge, then you could claim against them for act of plagiarism, noting the fact that your thesis is already published in your university.