Saturday, February 4, 2012

This is gonna be interesting

A fellow student from my program is working with my advisor to get out the write-up from a project they worked on 6 years ago. I did some data analysis on part of it at that time for a class project. This student has warned me that my advisor may steal my work (the class term paper) and put his own name on it as first author.

I am a pretty decent writer. I am considered a subversive deviant. I am more technological literate than my advisor. Yes, I'm in the process of wiping out any trace of my work from every lab computer, back-up file, and external hard drive in all our labs. Yes, I would magnetize the CD with my paper on it if I could find it. Yes, I will raise hell if my work walks off without me.

This could get interesting. Stay tuned.


anthea said...

Don't let your work being used!!!

recent Ph.D. said...

This kind of stuff makes my blood boil. A few years ago, I gave a conference paper in which I used a particular phrase to describe a particular phenomenon. Both the phrase and identification of the phenomenon it describes were my original work. After my presentation, a senior scholar not from Grad U came up and told me ze thought it was a great paper and a great idea and was I interested in publishing a version of the paper in the journal ze edited?

Nice, right?

I turned down the publication invitation because the piece had already been accepted somewhere else, and I didn't think about that encounter again until, lo and behold, a few months later at Grad U a senior faculty position opened up (associate/full professor) and the scholar I'd met at the conference was invited to give a job talk for it.

When I heard hir use MY phrase to talk about the phenomenon I had identified WITHOUT attributing, well, my ears started burning. I found myself taking notes on MY OWN idea, which this thief was unabashedly using to leverage hirself from one tenured position into another one at Grad U.

Uhhhhhhhh ..... even though ze ended up turning down the generous offer Grad U made hir, I felt sick, and there was no one I could tell about it and nothing I could do. My article wasn't due to be published for another few months, so there was nothing I could really point to and say, "Hey, um, if you thought that idea was so brilliant, how 'bout offering me that job?"

It was around this time, the same time I was getting rejection letters from my first go-around on the academic job market, that I started to get angry -- really, really angry -- at academe.

Good luck keeping that bastard's hands off your work!!