I am an PhD student and last year I was hired as a research assistant on a project. I put together a project on my own: literature review, methodology, made a dataset, analysis and interpretation of results. I would like your opinion on whether or not I have been shafted.
I signed a contract at the time, which included the following:
“Terms: All work produced for the Employer by the Employee under this agreement is subject to the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, Under this act all such work is to be defined as a work of art, The right to copyright and intellectual property of the work is to be the shared property of the Employer and the Employee, The Employer solely reserves the moral rights of the work
Compensation: The Employee shall be paid on a wage rate as follows: €33.00 per hour: The Employee shall receive payment in full upon completion of the work on 31 st January 2016″
*to note, the employer is not in academia, and has a regular job.
The employer made some small suggestions to my draft (changing the wording and spelling). I completed the project and received my fee. In my project, I put myself as lead author, and the employer as the second coauthor (something never debated in the revision stage). From my discussions with the employer at the start of my employment and the end, my project would remain at the state it was and any changes would be graphical and design related as it gets ready for the employer to be self published.
The employer told me they would keep me updated on the project, but they never did. I googled it recently, and found that my project had been incorporated into a larger project with 7 new research helpers, a new title, 3 more chapters and my project had been changed. There was a launch event where copies where sold, it was uploaded to academia.edu and discussed on online media outlets.
I am not a coauthor on the publication, the employer is the sole author. I am acknowledged: in the second page on the publication “Thanks to: person1, person2, person3, me,…., person8 for research, advice and input”, in the introduction as the conducter of an economic report which makes chapter 4, and at the beginning of the chapter under the title “with assistance from [my name]”
My original regression and descriptions tables are intact, some of my original wording is intact and the majority is reworded (in a way that I disagree with, overly simplified in my statistical opinion). The core of my analysis remains though and the results.
I feel shafted that my work was used to form a larger piece without my consent. Given that my work was the data analysis, it forms the most important part of the report, I feel I am justified in a co authorship (the second author in the reference). Furthermore, I feel my literature review etc was used as the basis of the formation of the new chapters, as the publication extended from my original workings. On the other hand, I also feel annoyed that my name is put to something where the content was changed without my reviewing.
Can anything be done? Have I been shafted in a legal sense? Did I naively sign my rights away in a contract? Or, I am taking this too seriously and should forget about it?