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What do I do with this woman?


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23 replies to this topic

#16 Curtis

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

Thanks leelee, since I respect and like you I will listen to you and forget about this. But honestly I was really lucky to find this error, otherwise I would have screwed up with the RE sites on my primers big time.

Now, it's just difficult to put her name as the source of the plasmid in my article, but what to do...I have to!

#17 pito

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:15 AM

Thanks leelee, since I respect and like you I will listen to you and forget about this. But honestly I was really lucky to find this error, otherwise I would have screwed up with the RE sites on my primers big time.

Now, it's just difficult to put her name as the source of the plasmid in my article, but what to do...I have to!


What did you ask her? Did you send her an email saying the plasmid was not right ? or?

Anyway, you dont need to mention her is she is refusing to answer.

You can send her an email to ask if the plasmid is indeed the right one because it seems something is wrong and that you need to clarify this in order to put her name in the paper etc..
Lure her out to answer...

Its her reputation that is at stake here.. not yours

Edited by pito, 09 December 2012 - 05:16 AM.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#18 leelee

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:38 AM

Thanks leelee, since I respect and like you I will listen to you and forget about this. But honestly I was really lucky to find this error, otherwise I would have screwed up with the RE sites on my primers big time.

Now, it's just difficult to put her name as the source of the plasmid in my article, but what to do...I have to!


Naw, shucks, thanks Posted Image

You're just talking about putting her in the materials as the source of the plasmid (and/or acknowledgements) yes?

Did she make it? Or is she just person who was asked to send it by whomever did actually make it? If so, acknowledge the person who authorised you to have it, rather than her.
For example, when I sent some viral DNA to another lab, it was my PI who was mentioned in their paper. His lab, his virus, all I did was extract it and send it.




Its her reputation that is at stake here.. not yours


I disagree. Not acknowledging someone for providing you with a resource such as a plasmid is a far FAR greater crime than not replying to a few emails. I know I wouldn't be sharing resources with someone who did this.

As I mentioned above, the only thing that she has really done wrong is not replying to emails. A bit rude, yes, but people are busy and I think you'll find most academics won't see this as a terrible offence.

The sequence error could have been, for all anyone of us knows, an innocent error (this is actually the most likely explanation). She may have even been given the wrong sequence by someone else. This may also explain her lack of concern with replying. Maybe she's thinking "not my plasmid, not my problem"?

Anyway Curtis, I'm sorry this happened to you!

#19 pito

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:43 AM


Thanks leelee, since I respect and like you I will listen to you and forget about this. But honestly I was really lucky to find this error, otherwise I would have screwed up with the RE sites on my primers big time.

Now, it's just difficult to put her name as the source of the plasmid in my article, but what to do...I have to!


Naw, shucks, thanks Posted Image

You're just talking about putting her in the materials as the source of the plasmid (and/or acknowledgements) yes?

Did she make it? Or is she just person who was asked to send it by whomever did actually make it? If so, acknowledge the person who authorised you to have it, rather than her.
For example, when I sent some viral DNA to another lab, it was my PI who was mentioned in their paper. His lab, his virus, all I did was extract it and send it.




Its her reputation that is at stake here.. not yours


I disagree. Not acknowledging someone for providing you with a resource such as a plasmid is a far FAR greater crime than not replying to a few emails. I know I wouldn't be sharing resources with someone who did this.

As I mentioned above, the only thing that she has really done wrong is not replying to emails. A bit rude, yes, but people are busy and I think you'll find most academics won't see this as a terrible offence.

The sequence error could have been, for all anyone of us knows, an innocent error (this is actually the most likely explanation). She may have even been given the wrong sequence by someone else. This may also explain her lack of concern with replying. Maybe she's thinking "not my plasmid, not my problem"?

Anyway Curtis, I'm sorry this happened to you!


I know that I would not want to share anyting/work with someone that does not reply to emails (its not that he just sent 1 email, he even got the retired professor involved...)
+ asking a question is something important, its not a small error or something trivial.
+ I did not say he should not put her name in the paper without asking .. thats why I said he has to lure her out of her silence...
Even better: if you can, call her... You dont blame her right away, you just ask her if its possible something went wrong...
Depending on her reaction you allready know a lot.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#20 leelee

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:56 AM

I don't know, maybe I try to look for the best in people, rather than suspect the worst. I just really don't see a few unanswered emails as that egregious.

The way I see it, being gifted this plasmid is worthy of acknowledgement (not authorship, obviously) in any publication arising- regardless of any other conduct.

Anywho, either we are misunderstanding each other- or will have to agree to disagree on this one Posted Image (it happens, no hard feelings Posted Image )

#21 pito

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

I don't know, maybe I try to look for the best in people, rather than suspect the worst. I just really don't see a few unanswered emails as that egregious.

The way I see it, being gifted this plasmid is worthy of acknowledgement (not authorship, obviously) in any publication arising- regardless of any other conduct.

Anywho, either we are misunderstanding each other- or will have to agree to disagree on this one Posted Image (it happens, no hard feelings Posted Image )


I also look for the best in people...

And I am not saying that a few unaswered emails are egregious (learned a new word here) , however before you put someones name in a paper you need to inform the person about this!
If she does not respond to your question about putting her name (and about the plasmid) then no, you should not add her name in the paper!

Having your name in a paper is a big deal.. (not even if its as an author, believe it or not, some people would not want it).

The discussion is not about the unanswered emails itself, but about the content of those emails (and the plasmid).


If it was me: I would do anything to clear it out, send email (with draft of the paper for example and a note where her name is mentioned so she does need to reply) and an emal about the problem with the plasmid, call her ...
If I do not get any response, I would try one last time mentioning I would not add her in the paper because I do not have her consent for putting her name in...
Still no reaction: nop, would not add her name in the paper.

But I would not only contact her, I would try to contact others in her lab too... I can hardly imagine she is the only one working with this plasmid.



PS. he could also refer to the lab rather then the person that send the plasmid...

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#22 Curtis

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

somebody else made it. She just stores it and she is the one who send it to me after she was asked to by the person who made it. I think I'm just gonna acknowledge her in my article, or as Pito suggested just acknowledge the lab.

#23 pito

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:05 AM

somebody else made it. She just stores it and she is the one who send it to me after she was asked to by the person who made it. I think I'm just gonna acknowledge her in my article, or as Pito suggested just acknowledge the lab.

Sounds like she is a lab tech..
You dont need to bother her with question, but the one that made it...

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#24 leelee

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:31 AM


I don't know, maybe I try to look for the best in people, rather than suspect the worst. I just really don't see a few unanswered emails as that egregious.

The way I see it, being gifted this plasmid is worthy of acknowledgement (not authorship, obviously) in any publication arising- regardless of any other conduct.

Anywho, either we are misunderstanding each other- or will have to agree to disagree on this one Posted Image (it happens, no hard feelings Posted Image )


I also look for the best in people...

And I am not saying that a few unaswered emails are egregious (learned a new word here) , however before you put someones name in a paper you need to inform the person about this!
If she does not respond to your question about putting her name (and about the plasmid) then no, you should not add her name in the paper!

Having your name in a paper is a big deal.. (not even if its as an author, believe it or not, some people would not want it).

The discussion is not about the unanswered emails itself, but about the content of those emails (and the plasmid).


If it was me: I would do anything to clear it out, send email (with draft of the paper for example and a note where her name is mentioned so she does need to reply) and an emal about the problem with the plasmid, call her ...
If I do not get any response, I would try one last time mentioning I would not add her in the paper because I do not have her consent for putting her name in...
Still no reaction: nop, would not add her name in the paper.

But I would not only contact her, I would try to contact others in her lab too... I can hardly imagine she is the only one working with this plasmid.



PS. he could also refer to the lab rather then the person that send the plasmid...


You make some good points, I hadn't considered that it is better to get permission before putting somebody's name to something.

Reminds me of someone I used to work with, who insisted on having her name removed from a paper by one of her previous grad students- he "reanalysed" (I use the term loosely) some data generated while in her lab and his work was TERRIBLE. Despite many conversations first asking and then insisting he change it, he and his new boss did not agree and she didn't want to be associated with his, frankly embarrassing claims. They agreed to remove her name, but it never got published in the end anyway (no surprise there).




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