Professional ethics: Publishing a student's project

LOCKSHIN, RICHARD A YPRLBIO at sjumusic.stjohns.edu
Wed Jun 28 12:55:26 EST 1995


If it is funded by the US government, then the grantee has some
obligation to publish the work as a part of fulfillment of the
grant. (No-one is forced to publish something but it is an
expectation that publishable material will be published, and
renewal of the grant depends on it.)
In article <3sj575$sp1 at henson.cc.wwu.edu> n8010095 at cc.wwu.edu (Phillip Bigelow) writes:
>tacollet at tezcat.com (Thomas A. Collet) writes:
>
>>In article <3sggpf$nfg at henson.cc.wwu.edu>, n8010095 at cc.wwu.edu (Phillip
>>Bigelow) wrote:
>
>>> sam.scheiner at asu.edu (Samuel M. Scheiner) writes:
>>>Ethical Descisions:
>>> >1. How long should I wait before I simply take the data and publish it
>>myself,
>>> >with him as co-author of course? What sorts of ultimatums are reasonable?
>>>
>>> >2. [Just to broaden the discussion] Does the extent of my imput matter? In
>>> >this case I provided the initial idea, much of the detail on experimental
>>> >design, and a fair amount of labor both directly and indirectly by hiring
>>> >extra help. [And you ask, how much work did this guy actually do?] But, can
>>> >we come up with general principles?
>
>>>:   I don't think your input should have any bearing on this at all.  Your
>>>: student is the one doing the project. The results are his. Although it isn't
>
>>Where do you get the idea that any "one" collaborator owns a project?
>>Credit should be given according to the input provided by the individual
>>team worker!
>
>We aren't talking about a corporate "team" collaboration here; we are
>talking about a graded student project...presumably to see if a student can
>conduct independent research and write it up by himself.
>  The corollary to your point, of course, is if Megalithic Enterprises, Inc.
>provides the funding, then the company should be a part owner of copyright,
>as well as a co-author.  I can assure you that when I received a grant from
>AMOCO so I could do my masters thesis, I did *not* put AMOCO on as
>my co-author, nor did I grant copyright to AMOCO.  I *did* give AMOCO a copy
>of my thesis, however (as per the contract agreement). As far as I am aware,
>what I did is universally accepted as correct (at least, within the U.S.).
>(as evidence of this, I have never seen a masters thesis that was
>co-authored by the corporation that provided the funding to the student).
>  A common double-standard is that if the thesis project is poorly-done or
>mediocre, then the student takes the rap.  If the thesis makes an important
>contribution to science, then, suddenly, the thesis becomes a
>"collaboration" between the student and his/her thesis advisor.
>
>>Seems to me that the only way to rescue this situation is to give this
>>student the last chance to shape up and then go ahead and publish anyway
>>(this still means that credit should be given as appropriate in the author
>>sequence).
>
>  Actually, there is more than one way to settle this dispute, and they are
>all in the professor's favor.  The professor can simply wait-out the
>student, and after the time-limit has passed, he can simply take the project
>on as his own.  The alternative is to assume that the student will finish
>his thesis, then the co-authorship can proceed after the thesis has been
>finished, defended, and the student graduates.  In either of these two
>scenarios, the professor gets what he wanted all along...to publish the
>results.  The only person who potentially looses is the student, who may
>get his education undermined by an advisor who jumps the gun on the time
>limit.
>
>.
>.




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