Paper trails (was: Re: Advisor borrowing ideas)

Lili Velez lv08+ at andrew.cmu.edu
Thu Feb 4 20:37:51 EST 1993


Seems to me that problems of "whose idea was it first?" are great
advertisements for keeping a very good notebook of what you've been
_thinking_, not just what you've been _doing_, in the laboratory.  

As I recall in the Baltimore data-falsifying fiasco, government
investigators were able to demonstrate _when_ certain things were
written into lab notebooks -- so if you keep written (hand-written, not
just electronic) documentation of what you've been considering, you
might have some way of proving when _you_ had particular ideas, and when
you had shared them with your advisor/supervisor.

Having it in writing, in ink, signed and dated, may not be a foolproof
method for establishing priority, but it is _one_ way, and anything is
better than nothing.

Lili Fox Velez
Rhet in the Blue Linen Labcoat



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