Saturday, February 11, 2012

sharing data

A colleague worked with me last year at this project, but was unable to come this year. Before leaving for the field, I asked them to share their notes with me, as I would be collecting data necessary to complete this project and they had some of the information that I had not collected last year.

This colleague refused to share their notes.

This attitude is very much outside my experience - I'm accustomed to working very closely with a team, sharing all our data, and fully expecting to be cited or included whenever my contributions have been part of a publication, talk, etc. I've written before about being taken aback by colleagues insisting upon publication order discussions prior to even writing a manuscript, and other similar situations - I am apparently not paranoid enough.

So, I've completed my data collection for the year, and I'm writing up my report. I find myself rethinking what I'm going to include: in past years I've included all of my raw data and a discussion of what I think it means, with figures to support these ideas. Should I not be doing this? Isn't this the point of collaborative work - we all contribute ideas and build off of them? Or should I be holding my cards closer, as this (perhaps important to note, more senior) colleague chooses to do, to the detriment of our joint work on this project?

I suppose I should just feel lucky that I haven't been so burned that I feel the need to hide my data. But I also can't help but feel annoyed that this person is so uncooperative, particularly when this is a site-specific project that would be impossible to "scoop" or to publish without our names being included.

Back to report-writing, where I will probably be far too open about my own intellectual "property".

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