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  1. #11
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I mean that in retrospect I notice having been motivated by reasons that are essentially a result of bad self-esteem. I didn't consider self-publishing enough, even though it would have been completely adequate. Self-publication is still a publication, even if it's not peer reviewed, and it's worth what it is worth. It's more than zero, if the content is worth more than zero, even if it's just on the web. But.. I had mistakenly believed that self-publishing is worth nothing, as no-one has approved it for me. This is what I understand now, and that is why I sought approval in the past. And no, I didn't have enough material to earn myself co-authorship.

  2. #12
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    I misread it as if the low self-esteem bit was feedback you got from others. Yeah, that seemed weird for a reason.
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  3. #13
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Such Irony View Post
    It's highly relative and depends on who you compare yourself with. People are most likely to compare themselves to their peers so if you're a professional athlete, your peers are likely to be other professional athletes. You could be lousy compared to other professional athletes but still better in your sport than 99.9% of the population. On the flip side of the coin, you could be a homeless bun living on the streets but compared to your fellow street bums, you managed to collect significantly more spare change than them, so you feel superior.
    This makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Self-esteem is related to self-confidence. This is gained through succeeding at what you try to do, and being able to attribute that success to your own efforts rather than just "luck", or someone else giving you a break. How do you know you have succeeded, though? Sometimes it is obvious: you try to fix your computer, and it works right again. Or, you have a goal of saving X dollars by the end of the year, and you reach or exceed that.

    In a professional context, a big part of measuring individual success comes from the evaluation of others. The entire peer review process is based on this. You can try something in the lab and see that it works, and even show that it is repeatable. On one level, this already is success. Documenting this through publication submits the idea to the scrutiny of others, and also contributes to the overall advancement of your field, since others will now be able to learn from what you learned. This helps to build your professional reputation, and is an accepted and legitimate way of "blowing your own horn".

    In my experience as a researcher, it is considered unethical to publish someone else's ideas without proper acknowledgment. I also know that it happens, especially in academic settings where advisors will claim students' work as their own. They usually deserve coauthorship on a student's publications, but that is not the same thing. Someone in a senior position (i.e. faculty) should encourage you to develop a good idea, not "steal" it. A fellow student should not be allowed to do so, either. Their advisor should prevent it.

    The answer is not to become distrustful of others, it is to develop greater trust in yourself. You cannot develop your ideas in a research setting in a vacuum. Instead, learn what mentor(s) you can trust, and run ideas by them for advice on how best to pursue them. Your own advisor should be such a person. If not, you have a greater problem than this particular incident.
    Thanks, this was valuable.

    Yeah, I see it now.. there's at least two options if I don't produce enough work on something to earn co-authorship. I could develop the thing privately and publish it when it's ready.. or, I could just express the idea quickly in a blog or something if I just want it out quickly and I'm not looking forward to profit from it. So, lack of insight to options available for me was one problem.

    Other is, that I volunteer information easily when I try to impress someone. Now that I completely recognize it, I can avoid it. And.. this wanting to impress someone, that comes from bad self-esteem. Bad self esteem will take longer to correct, but I can immediately stop shooting myself in the foot.

  4. #14
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    You said you whined about it, but did you confront directly the guy who "stole" it? If he keeps on thinking he is right, did you try to "menace" him for what he did? Or at least told him to screw himself? (Yes it's not professional to act like this, but stealing ideas isn't professional either) I have had an idea "stolen" once and I simply told the professor "I want to have co-autorship at this because this was my idea". Most people are not ready to fight about such an issue, unless much money is at stake.

    For the record, I would not think that not telling anyone about a given idea is any good as a general attitude. If you're the kind of person that needs to do this (I am too), you will feel stunted by having to watch your back all the time. The downside being, that you will sometimes have your ideas stolen...
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  5. #15
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Yeah, keeping all the ideas to oneself isn't really the only viable strategy, if it ever was. I'm glad there's options. Well, news just hit in, we both got the kind of deal we wanted, confirmed over the phone. I'm surprised everything went so well after such a heated discussion we had.. or perhaps thats why it did turn out well. Also I'm surprised why we didn't see this possibility yesterday. I was already counting my losses.

    This doesn't mean I can be careless in the future, or that I wouldn't feel dumb right now for handling this less than gracefully. And yeah, people do need someone to talk to about their ideas.

  6. #16
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    Yeah, I see it now.. there's at least two options if I don't produce enough work on something to earn co-authorship. I could develop the thing privately and publish it when it's ready.. or, I could just express the idea quickly in a blog or something if I just want it out quickly and I'm not looking forward to profit from it. So, lack of insight to options available for me was one problem.

    Other is, that I volunteer information easily when I try to impress someone. Now that I completely recognize it, I can avoid it. And.. this wanting to impress someone, that comes from bad self-esteem. Bad self esteem will take longer to correct, but I can immediately stop shooting myself in the foot.
    If you haven't done enough to be considered a coauthor, you would at least merit an acknowledgment at the end of the paper. I have received these for, say, helping the author resolve problems in their calculations, though I wasn't directly involved in the project. I didn't even consider the idea of self-publishing, as on the web. I suppose it is at least as good as the old signed and dated lab notebooks, which were valid for claiming patent rights.

    You should avoid doing the highlighted, and share your ideas only with people you have some confidence will respect them. Yes, you might still get burned, but it should be rare, and hopefully you can work it out as you seem to have done with the present situation. Use other areas unrelated to your research to impress people!

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    For the record, I would not think that not telling anyone about a given idea is any good as a general attitude. If you're the kind of person that needs to do this (I am too), you will feel stunted by having to watch your back all the time. The downside being, that you will sometimes have your ideas stolen...
    This attitude makes someone very hard to work with. I had a classmate in grad school who was like this. She wouldn't tell anyone anything, often not even our advisor, who was one of the most honorable people I have ever worked with. He wouldn't dream of claiming credit for a student's work. At the same time, she would hound the rest of us about whether we were giving her proper acknowledgment in our papers, etc. Granted, she came from an environment where backbiting and idea-stealing seemed to be the norm, so her paranoia had some basis.

    Bottom line: figure out who is trustworthy among your colleagues, and discuss ideas with them. Take note of who is particuarly greedy about using others' ideas, and steer clear of them. You will need to coordinate real journal publications with your advisor. They usually are coauthors, and have an interest in monitoring the quality of work coming out of their group. It is invaluable to have a good relationship with this person, both for your work in grad school, and your career beyond.
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