As part of an internationally dispersed team, I have first-authored a text (along with other authors) which is meant to become a chapter of an academic book. My text was lightly edited in a process of file exchanges whereby the author names were in evidence in the files under the title of the chapter. I have done this as an employee of organisation A among multiple organisations which contributed chapters to the book, as part of contract work with a customer organisation B.

However, organisation B is taking a long time to have the book published. The longer it takes, the more I am in doubt about the protection of my authorial credit in the chapter. For all I know, organisation B could be editing the chapter substantially and deciding to remove my authorship as a result. It's difficult to tell also because the contract between organisations A and B has terminated, and as a result I am also no longer an employee of organisation A.

What steps can I take to protect my authorial credit of the chapter in the book to be published and to protect myself from plagiarism if my authorship is not acknowledged in the book once published?

  • 1
    The first step is to get a lawyer. The second step is to ask them what to do. The third step is to do it. You should expect that the answer is "get over it" - "authorship" is not a right in many jurisdictions, nor do employees simply get to claim it when writing for their employer. – Nij Sep 18 '19 at 4:58
  • @Nij “authorship” or moral rights are a right in most jurisdictions- the US is an exception – Dale M Sep 18 '19 at 9:31
  • Wikipedia's list shows half of a sample from around the world either match them to "economic rights" or require assertion of authorship, and the fact that the text was written as part of an employment also makes it unlikely they can claim the authorship unless they are in a jurisdiction that disallows waiving that right. All in all the best case scenario is that they need a lawyer and hope that the law is on their side. – Nij Sep 18 '19 at 10:47

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