I haven't been here in a long while. I left science after my PhD, got an industry job and I am happy about it.
Today, I've received an email, in which my former Postdoc (babysitting me though my PhD) colloquially informs me that he removed me as a first author from the paper resulting from my PhD. From the final submission of an accepted paper, where I have been a (co-)first author throughout the entire submission-reviewal process.
I just had a serious WTF moment, and need to vent to somebody who understands
During my PhD, I had a PI and a PostDoc under whose "supervision" I worked - which means we worked on related projects and my PI had little knowledge about it.
Anyway, my PhD was a fairly painful experience: PI with no idea about my subject but a real wish for a really highly published paper, post-doc with little idea about methods, me in a project way too large for a 3y UK PhD programme. Because my PI does not particularly care for small papers he was against just publishing the screen we did with some low level analysis. Back in 2010 you could still do get papers like that published, and in good journals too.
I got a few papers out of collaborations, and finished my PhD without a 1st author paper (UK system!).
I left academic research because I've had my share of it and no wish for more.
The postdoc also left and opened his own lab. He took my work, and his new post-doc took another two years until the thing is finally publishable, because today, the paper is of little relevance, and the lions share of data was given away to a collaborator by the PI and was published already in a Cell paper.
Anyway, now it's all fine, the paper is accepted in a minor, but okay journal. This evening I got a an email from my former Postdoc (now PI) to tell me that he has just remove the "first-author star" (shared with his postdoc) from my name, before submitting the final version of the manuscript to the journal. His reason has nothing to do with the work, or the paper: He has a lab review in April, and has been advised that it would be much better to not have anybody from his former lab as a shared first author on "his" paper.
He has actually written that. I have this email sitting in my mailbox, and I am totally flabbergasted.