A doctoral researcher has successfully completed their PhD project and defended their thesis...

in a public disputation. Before the university issues the degree, the thesis has to be published. The reviewers of the thesis have raised a list of minor comments that need to be addressed before publication. The researcher’s PI, who is also the first referee of the thesis, needs to sign the revision form to approve the final thesis revision before the university’s library accepts the work for publication. Since with the completed disputation the PhD project is formally completed (as agreed upon in the employment contract), the researcher is no longer employed by their research institution and is ready to move on and leave academia for a job in industry. The PI refuses to sign the revision form - a pure formality - and demands that the researcher finishes work on a pending publication revision first. The researcher has no interest in finishing the publication since they have nothing to gain from an additional publication for their future career and are no longer paid for the research work they do. Nevertheless, the researcher needs the university diploma since their prospective industry job depends on the completion of the degree. They grudgingly agree to put in another four weeks of unpaid labour to finish the publication. After they have left academia, they report the incident to the ombuds-person of their former research institute. The ombuds-person disregards the report since the affected researcher is no longer an employee of the research institution. The researcher does not follow up on their report since they have no interest to re-open this disappointing chapter of their life.

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