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Someone took away my authorship without telling me...

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This just keeps getting worse. My supervisor (who is a PhD student) was preparing for a conference since March of this year, and recently presented the poster. I had sent her all of my data throughout the year, and she even showed me the poster before she went to get it printed. My name was second on the authorship row. Then I went to the conference website and checked where all the abstracts were posted, my name was no where to be found - but her name and everyone else's names were listed. It was the same exact title as the poster she showed me, but my name was literally no where on the entire list of abstracts. Initially, I was livid, but now I am trying to see if this is even a big deal. Yes, those were my images that I took, and I optimized the protocols to everything, so being snubbed like this was a huge slap in the face. But is an abstract even that big of a deal? I have like 3 others from my undergrad career, and 1 actual paper that was recently published in August of last year (also from my undergrad school). I'm trying to beef up my resume within the next two months so when recruiters come to my campus, I will have something to show them. Now I'm worried that not having this will make them wonder what I've been doing for the past year in grad school. I'm beyond the point of complaining to authoritative figures, I feel like it'll just make the situation more tense and she'll be resentful towards me for the rest of my time at this school. What should I do? Is there any point in being upset? Does an abstract really matter in the big picture? I want to get a consulting job after graduation, and possibly go further into the business side of biotechnology, so I'm hoping that this one setback doesn't hurt my chances at a decent job. Thanks for reading! Sorry for venting :( 



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I would try to figure out if it was an accident, first.

It's possible that your name on the poster was after abstract submission- in my field abstract submission can be 6-8 mos before the conference.

Most conferences can also be troublesome about any changes to author names in the program after the initial submission.

Before assuming you were slighted or there was malice, ask.

"Hey, I remember seeing my name on the poster, but it didn't seem to make it into the program. Do you know what happened?"

If you were on the poster but not in the program, it goes on your CV anyway.

Having your name on an abstract in the scheme of things means next to nothing in your field- it's the attribution on the poster or in the oral presentation that is meaningful.

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I agree with all of Eigen's points. In fact, I'm about to give a talk where I have added another student's name to the title slide as a contributor but their name is not on the abstract because I submitted that abstract 6 months ago and the authorship changed since then. That's just the way it is.


Also, I want to also second/highlight the point that that what's on the poster or talk is more important than an abstract booklet online or in print (even though that's the "official" one). Put it on the CV if you were on the poster and contributed at the level you describe here.

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