You can't have a reprint unless you tell us why you want it.
September 2, 2014 4:48 PM Subscribe
All you masters of tactful business communication, please tell me how to handle this reprint request response.
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Work & Money (17 answers total)
I work for a dietary supplement company that sells natural products and also occasionally publishes research on them. Like any first author, my boss gets reprint requests from random people. Today one crossed his desk, and he handed it off to me, asking me to find out the nature of the guy's interest in Natural Product, and saying that he didn't want to provide the guy with a copy if he was going to use it to "rail against [Natural Product]." Obviously I am to use discretion and tact, so as not to "insinuate anything".
The heck? I've never been in a situation where, asked for a reprint, you didn't just hand it over. That's Science, man. I do not at all know what to say here.
I cannot try to make my boss see that free exchange of information is fundamental to the scientific process; believe me I would if I could. No, I need your help in crafting an email I can send to the guy asking for a reprint to ask why he wants it, with as much of an appearance of collegiality as possible. If I need to look like an obstructionist minion so my boss still seems to be the good guy, so be it. So tell me, you sweet-talkin' businesspeople, how do I ask the guy why we wants the reprint?