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How do you protect your work?

by Fragment
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Fragment
#1
Apr8-09, 07:57 PM
P: 150
To hide under the great cover of anonymity, let us suppose that I have found something worth great recognition and possibly a prize in mathematics, how do I know that I will not be stolen out of it? How do I know that by sharing it someone will not try to write out their own copy of it and submit it before I do? This leads me into an endless chain of paranoia since that I know of nothing that can protect me if I was to check the validity of my formulation with an expert in the field. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Pengwuino
#2
Apr8-09, 08:01 PM
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Quote Quote by Fragment View Post
To hide under the great cover of anonymity, let us suppose that I have found something worth great recognition and possibly a prize in mathematics, how do I know that I will not be stolen out of it? How do I know that by sharing it someone will not try to write out their own copy of it and submit it before I do? This leads me into an endless chain of paranoia since that I know of nothing that can protect me if I was to check the validity of my formulation with an expert in the field. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
If you have indeed found something worth publishing, submitting it to a journal is an appropriate method of publicizing your work. If there are errors, they will return it but it will at least be on record as being your original work so if you then decide to collaborate, it is at least traceable that you were the person behind the original work :).
Fragment
#3
Apr8-09, 08:12 PM
P: 150
Is there a way other than this to get it revised? I do know that journals often select an "intermediate" that will judge your work based on his expertise, but I am trying to focus on another way if possible. Publishing is definitely in my scope albeit the fact that I do not take errors lightly.

CRGreathouse
#4
Apr8-09, 08:23 PM
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How do you protect your work?

The sooner you submit your work, the earlier you can stake a claim to priority. The longer you hold onto it the more you risk someone else independently publishing the same (or a similar) result.
Fragment
#5
Apr8-09, 08:27 PM
P: 150
So I deduce that trying to get the work revised by someone else than a journal is not recommended? If so, than all my questions seem answered. And for one more thing, surely I am not the only one who feels this, but, how do others go through life without being acquainted with science or mathematics? How do some people just carry on their same everyday tasks and wait for retirement? Were maths taken away from me, I'd have an infinitely large hole of emptiness!
Pengwuino
#6
Apr8-09, 08:37 PM
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To be honest, quite the opposite. Unless you're surrounded by some screwed up people, the more people you tell the better since it would be more obvious that you were the one to create it.
Fragment
#7
Apr8-09, 08:43 PM
P: 150
Are you not scared that your idea will be thieved?
CRGreathouse
#8
Apr8-09, 08:47 PM
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Are you not scared that your idea will be thieved?
Honestly, that's less of a danger than independent discovery. Just look at how many major discoveries were found by multiple people at around the same time!

Just put it up on a preprint server and have whoever you want help you revise it. That should put your (unwarranted, IMO) fears to rest.
Fragment
#9
Apr8-09, 08:48 PM
P: 150
What exactly do you mean by independent discovery?
Pengwuino
#10
Apr8-09, 08:53 PM
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What exactly do you mean by independent discovery?
Many discoveries have occurred simultaneously by different people. That is, multiple people, working independently of eachother, discovered the same thing. First one to publish wins :)
qntty
#11
Apr8-09, 08:56 PM
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Independent discovery as in someone else who never saw your work publishes a very similar paper. If the foundation for a good paper has been laid (which it has if you were able to write one) and there are enough people who care about the topic then often times it gets discovered more than once. This has happens all the time with breakthrough discoveries.

edit:ninja'd
Fragment
#12
Apr8-09, 08:58 PM
P: 150
Ahh, well of course, Calculus, Natural selection,Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics come to mind... Thanks for the help.

Edit: I had seen this as more of simultaneous discoveries. Independent to me sounds as "Finding something on one's own, without help."
zetafunction
#13
Apr10-09, 09:59 AM
P: 399
If you are doing a PhD thesis, you can put it on Arxiv, this is not the best option but at least you will have a chance if your teacher or other try to plagiarize your work

there are many journals helping Ph D or similar student , if you have confidence on him you can tell your teacher .
arildno
#14
Apr10-09, 12:27 PM
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If you don't trust fellow scholars, get a copy to a lawyer, have him testify the date that you gave it into his possession, and then go on to speak with the other scholars.
Fragment
#15
Apr10-09, 02:01 PM
P: 150
I like arildno's suggestion. Such a thing would be considered as confidential to the lawyer, it would be legitimate and very secure. Thank you very much.
matt grime
#16
Apr11-09, 06:16 PM
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Hiding your work is considered anathema to many mathematicians; some still do not like the way that Wiles went about things. Mathematicians pride themselves on their honour; which fields list authors on papers in strict alphabetical order?
M Grandin
#17
Apr13-09, 10:58 AM
P: 92
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
If you don't trust fellow scholars, get a copy to a lawyer, have him testify the date that you gave it into his possession, and then go on to speak with the other scholars.
Maybe it is also possible hiding your concept, more or less "crypted", in a picture you deposit at an "image host" - free and automatically dated. Then only you know your secret... At least it might be used as a reserve "emergency" security if the lawyer stole your promising concept


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