I'm curious about a certain process. Let's say that you discovered something big in the field of physics. I don't know what, something game-changing. Maybe you figured out quantum relativity, I dunno.
As the guy who developed said theory/new law, how would you go about discussing it with your colleagues without having one of them reword your paper and claim it as their own? How do you properly protect yourself from academic theft so that you can share your ideas without an Edison walking in and snatching them up and putting his name overtop of yours?
Basically, how do you secure credit for your work if you make a ground-breaking discovery? Would it be wise to go as public as possible, such as starting up a YouTube channel and linking it to some social accounts? How would you do it?
This is just a thought experiment kinda thing, nothing real. I'm just curious how actual scientists/researchers stop leeches from stealing credit for their work.
You can't. But it's ok, since discovery for the sake of discovery is the ultimate incentive.
What makes this problem more interesting is that revolutionary theories tend to be simultaneously discovered by different people in the same era.
If you've discovered something groundbreaking, it's likely that only a few people in the world truly understand how groundbreaking it actually is, even after you explain it to them.
You don't tell people about what you're doing while you work unless you're working with them, then proceed to send off your paper to as many people as possible for peer review to minimize the amount of fuckery anyone can cause without the others calling him out, then publish ASAP once reviewed.
It's not that frequent that this happens though. If you weren't working with them from the start, just talking in vagaries about your work is fine.
Why even bother? If it's so easy to plagiarize you, then the discovery itself isn't much of an achievement in the first place.
If what your discovered is truly complex, then people must come to you for understanding, and you can't be plagiarized.
Stop being paranoid because you are never going to discover anything significant.
Just like me.
The best discoveries are the ones for which you say "but of course, it was right in front of us the whole time".
Also the simpler the idea, the more beautiful it is (see Einstein for example)
>The best discoveries are the ones for which you say "but of course, it was right in front of us the whole time".
Every discovery in mathematics ever would disagree with you.
I'm not a physicist, but I'm quite sure relativity isn't as simple as the cute little algebraic proof.
but it is
all of maxwell's equations were just there, already known. Except maxwell had the idea to group them together. And they're the truest true shit.
Mathematics are not discovered, so the issue of mathematical discoveries is non-pertinent.
In the first place if you are discussing it with your colleagues they should rightfully be given co-authorship in your paper because they contributed intellectually.
Secondly the main reason to keep a research log is to prove how long you've been working on something. This does not prevent you from getting scooped, but proves you have worked on it before just reading what someone else published on your idea.
No, not until you are completely finished. Public lets everyone use your ideas freely. This happens to a lot of Chinese researchers who publish their ideas prematurely either with crappy papers in shit journals or in letters to journals, then when someone else writes a full paper on the idea/experiment they try to cry plagiarism but it's not, they were the first to successfully implement the idea so they get all the credit.
Especially fucking YouTube is both childish and stupid they don't even have to reference your video.
Short answer: It's impossible from both social and technological point of view. Someone could hack and take it right out of your computer and publish before you or they could rephrase and rebrand the stuff you do and republish it.
If this is very important to you, you should give up and become a janitor or bar tender or hot dog man.
What is peer-review and how does it work?
I can't speak for physicists, but at least in my field (neuroscience) if you have results that lead to you modify or develop theory, you're already far ahead of your competitors. That is, you're far enough ahead to be able to discuss your findings with other people, because they won't be able to catch up in time before you publish whatever it is you have found. Start to finish a project can take a year or more, and if you're already three quarters of the way there then you might as well present your work on a conference or share your findings with others, because you're going to be the first one to publish it regardless. If anything, feedback is going to improve your work. On some occasions you might also be approached by others who are working on the same thing, and then it's good to find out about that because you can increase your efforts to get the paper out the door as quick as possible.
Generally, you can discuss with other people what you are doing simply because they aren't doing the same work and have their own shit to focus on. Furthermore, dropping everything to work on something you have a clear head start on is incredibly risky, makes them look like an asshole to anyone else that knows what you are working on, and is a misappropriation of their funding. So, unless they make some rather significant improvements to your idea (i.e. your idea was a starting point which they drastically extended/improved), they waste a bunch of time to alienate themselves from the community and risk losing all their funding for misusing it. The costs are too high. Or at least this is how it appears to be in physics. As a result, people are rather willing to discuss what they are currently doing rather openly and get feedback while they are still working. In some of the other sciences, it is different. For example, I know that sometimes in ecology they have their field data stolen (in a fairly literal sense) and published by other groups which suffer little repercussions because "this shit happens and you should know better."