I helped another graduate student with her work. We were testing how long certain drugs lasted in mouse organs. We dosed three drugs and sent them to some collaborators for analysis.
Time passes. My PI and I have a falling out, and I leave to finish my PhD in another lab. Before I leave I have to fight to prove I deserved at least a co-authorship on the drug paper (I did a ton of work for it, the lab manager did nothing and was automatically put on). Get the authorship and am relieved, but cannot figure out why the paper only includes two drugs when we tested three, all at the same time. Oh well, I’m moving on with life and way happier in my new lab.
Cut to two years later. My old lab is publishing the third drug! And guess whose name is the only one missing from the authors list. I met with the university’s research-integrity officer, and she tells me there’s nothing anyone can do. The university considers it a publisher issue, and the publisher considers it a university issue.
What would you do?
You probably inclined to think that "there’s nothing anyone can do" is equivalent to "I do not want to do anything". I want to provide an alternative way of thinking. Think about it as "There’s nothing anyone can do constructively, i.e. to your benefit". One can do many things here, but will they be useful to you in some way? Punishing someone gives only a temporary satisfaction. A possible course of action along this line would be that an erratum is written to this article stating:
We acknowledge J LecC for insightful comments to this paper.
But does it bring anything? Your publication list nor your h-index will not grow because of this... Therefore, cynically speaking, just be happy in your new lab.