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Forums and copyright

  1. Apr 24, 2006 #1
    I'm a researcher in brain structure, encouraged to become so many years ago by a psychologist within the university system. Previously to that i was a designer who tended to live in a constant perception of abstract analysis of everything living. Thats what lead me to creating/discovering a set of ideas about what brain structure really was, and also a general philosophy of human systems themselves.

    this was a hobby, I had no academic methodology, a forum, and a lot of fun. I didnt really care if anybody stole any of my ideas. My career focus was design and i was highly protective in my online actitivites in that area.

    Now everything has switched around. This is mainly due to my environmnent to some degree, which pulled and selected me into the world of academic support, thats resulted several years later in a book about electromagnetism and the discovery of natural mathematics within neurochemical systems, but as of yet no proof or description, (in mathematical language). The problem is the process is just too cross discipline for any one university department. Just offhand it blends Neuroscience, organic chemistry, eastern philosophy, genetics, anthropolgy, evolutionary neurology, earth sciences and now natural mathematics. People in university departments are just too busy, and the structure will not allow to me go from one department to another, grabbing different people. Unless it looks like some government, business money will arise then basically the departments do not get together, and i have to go of creative learning yet another subject.

    Worse of all, during all this process i have been advised not to print my papers online until they go through the journal process, however :

    My current feeling is that the journal process is bad for creativity. ITs basically a lot of messing around, a lot of reformatting, playing by rules etc. time consuming, a struggle with peers.

    we all know this process anyway. How many here aim for it ? and of course its about reward. correction, leading to grants, wages, patents, Protection of research at the legal level and so on. Seems to be write the paper collect the reward, and go grazing elsewhere.

    I am asking myself lately can internet sites and forums jump ahead this process, if i just say stuff it, to these rewards. I want to get the feeling of enjoyment or even possibility of getting somewhere within a decent timeframe. For a start i find the journal system incoherent. Pubmed can barely bring a subject together, never mind a single journal.

    A well run forum however, with a high quality website, together with a lot of people excited about a project in which they share the process of creative research and discovery for the sake of that, could leapfrog the whole journal process. The forum would invite critics and skeptics and evolution could take place at a much quicker pace. Free of peer problem, grant pressure, academic pressure. Just like here the forum / site can sit online forever, developing dynamically, and as a result a lot more fun. I know of one good model which the "journal of consciousness studies", which is more of a magazine than a journal. The best in the business get together, submit loose articles and opinions, ads for books and debate with each other.

    This is what i am thinking is the way ahead. I'm already far enough gone in the academic process that the neurochemistry papers should end up in journals this year. That gives me credibility i never had previously. Still its too slow, represents the tip of my iceberg, and requires breaking 30% of just one book apart.

    What i am asking here is this. What is the current opinion of the state of play in development in the living sciences in regards to what can be achieved online, half in academia, half out ?

    I really would like to share my book and papers online, and let others share, even re-write and take what looks like a really deep philososophy of electromagnetism which binds all levels of living systems. Genetic/brain/global populations. It has become too much for one person and one journal, or one department. It needs to become coherent and developed within the web, rather than broken up to teeny little articles.

    What would the price be ? do i lose copyright ? Is that really possible ?

    if i and others share in a decent quality wikipedia kind of online development, then the result is work which is witnessed stamped and dated.

    Forums are archived, date stamped by the servers, and witnessed by their contributors. If what i am claiming which is significant arises from the project, that would be so desirable as to be stealable, then where do i stand ?

    Has anyone similiar experience ? In this current day and online climate, will its origins stand up in court, as well as the journals can ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2006 #2


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    The only way to ensure copyright would be to share your idea with an intellectual property company and get their opinion as to whether it's patentable or not.

    Journals are strange - when your paper's accepted, you have to sign copyright over to them. However, according to my contract, my employer (a university) owns copyright on my ideas.

    I'm sure copyright is stricter in some subjects as opposed to others tho
  4. Apr 25, 2006 #3

    matt grime

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    One thing I fail to understand:

    if you do indeed have a multidisciplinary idea with merit then it should be a lot easier to get people interested and to obtain funding for it. Universities love this kind of thing, it gets so much money from the funding agencies.
  5. Apr 25, 2006 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Patent and copyright are different things. Patents apply to ideas, more precisely concepts for useful devices. Copyrights apply to written or pictorial expression.
  6. Apr 25, 2006 #5


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    I thought a patent was more specific to a physical object, ie. you need a prototype.

    Hence why it's hard to get IP on a, e.g., mathematical idea.
  7. Apr 25, 2006 #6
    not necessarily, it can be a process. Like amazons one click checkout, that's patented.
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