Dispute over Research Work
I worked as an intern for a scientist at a reputed government research institute. I worked on a research project under him. As the project was near completion, I was accused by him of academic dishonesty (forging of data) so as to prevent me from getting any credit for the same. I provided them with all the proofs and justification but he just refused to listen to any of it. Instead, I was threatened that he will be reporting this to my educational institute and my future employers in case I try to ask him for any explanation. Being a student, a report being filed with my institute will have serious consequences for me until my case is heard and resolved. Also, it will be a problem with my future employers as I will be needing to provide an explanation to each of them for the same. What are my options right now ? I have a record of all the conversation over mail.
The fact that you have the entire conversation recorded over email should work in your favour depending on whether the emails state your contribution to the research work referred by you in your question. I do not see any legal consequences of this scenario but agree that once the scientist, you interned for, files any complaint with your institution, it might dent your reputation. However, since you have the necessary proof which you have presented before him as well, it should keep any reputational harm at bay. In case if the scientist files any complaint against you, what you obviously need to do is keep all the evidence ready in a documented form. Also, this matter pertains to academic dishonesty which, in all likelihood, will be taken up by your institutional authorities. Each institution has its own mechanism of dealing with issues like plagiarism, unauthorised duplicity, etc. in case of a complaint, you will have to face the same. Personally speaking, in case of a complaint, if the decision is pronounced in your favour, you can claim your share of credit in the research and can use it for an academic publication after making legitimate changes to it. With all the proof and evidence it should not be difficult for you to get through this.
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