Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scoopage (and I don't mean ice cream)

We just got mega-scooped. An almost intact paper that Postdoc Guy left behind was just published basically figure for figure by another group with only the teeniest of differences. Hmph. Interestingly, the senior author was on the study section that reviewed the grant on this project. He was also the postdoc mentor of one of my committee members.

I’ve been giving Crazy Man a hard time about this paper ever since Postdoc Guy left. But nobody listens to me. It wasn’t my project, but I was an author because I did a few bits of data for it. In fact, it was in a system that I’ve been adamantly refusing to work on for years, maybe even the whole time I’ve been in grad school.

However (and there’s always a however)… I think I can rescue this paper. I’ve gradually been doing a little here and there with this system, despite my best efforts. And I have ideas! Crazy ideas, for experiments that I’m all poised to do. Crazy experiments that will be relatively easy to do, needed to be done anyway, and will really only mean adding an additional group to experiments that I was planning to do anyway!

Assuming these experiments go according to plan (snicker…when does that ever happen?), they would then become the bulk of the paper, it would be higher impact than it was before, and I would likely become first author. What are the chances this works?

3 comments:

LabMom said...

I'm sorry you got scooped. I hope you can make it a phoenix paper and revive it from the ashes!

WomanScientist said...

I hope so too! We have a couple of different plans in the works, so I'm feeling optimistic. Of course, I haven't actually tried to generate any of the data yet... :)

pratiklahiri06 said...

heyy its a shame that you got scooped and disgusting that the senior author used a position of power and responsibility for personal gains. This is not expected from academics but is a problem that plagues the world of academia and has reduced the pursuit of knowledge to a rat race where everything goes..