I just started a research position coming from the industry. I am supposed to work on an ongoing project and branch it out to a new direction.
There is one member of the research group that did quite a lot of work on what I am supposed to modify. So I asked him if he could share his work and code with me. He told me that it is still unpublished work and there is no way he is going to give me his code. He said this is the way he does research.
I'm sort of stumped and don't know what to do. He told me that I should go and do it on my own what he has done for about a year now. My supervisor agreed to my suggestion that I should work with this person, but when I told him that he wouldn't share the code with me, he was just laughing nervously and didn't say anything.
Is there a way that I can persuade this person to collaborate with me, or am I banging my head against a wall?
So just to clarify. My supervisor is (one of) the project lead. I first talked to the supervisor suggesting, then talked to the person who rejected, then to the supervisor again. This project has been going on for a year. There are about 5 people working on it in this lab. I joined the lab to extend on the work done here and to contribute in the final stages of the project. To my surprise, there is no shared code repository, but rather each person does their own thing and in meetings discuss it.
I told the person that I will not steal his code. He replied to me that he doesn't share the code because I will not understand it. I told him that it helps me understand the work by looking at the code. He told me that no.
So my plan is to read the draft papers again and try to understand it that way, then try again in a few days. I don't want to re implement the same thing he has done...
I was given access today to the research group server and I could view everyone's work (around 15 people) and all project material... except his directory and implementation which is permission denied. I talked to him again, and clearly he is afraid that I will steal his work and possibly has to put one more name on his paper if I find something interesting, thereby diluting his achievements. He kept telling me that this is his work, and he is the first person on the paper and I should do something else or re-implement the whole code on my own.