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I am wondering if it would hurt me (professional creditability etc.) if I publish my dissertation on an interest / advocacy group's website.

My dissertation is in one of the areas that this group has been advocating for a long time. Obviously, there are many other contrary views to the views of this interest group. The interest group is known nationally and, in essence, functions as a political lobby.

I am employed in the same industry, so chose to study in this area from a well respected university. It was easy to identify this gap in knowledge and to address it with robust research.

There has been no issues to date but now that the dissertation is approved, I am thinking of making it more widely available, hence the above option.

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Note that if you publish papers in open-access journals that have Creative Commons-style copyright, there's nothing that can stop them from copying your paper. And even if you don't, they can still — either with papers or with journals — write articles naming you and linking your research. I've had a (journalistic style) photograph I've taken end up on a nationalist website, with the website crediting me (as they are obliged to); I'm not 100% happy with that... –  gerrit Feb 11 '13 at 12:24
    
Thanks. This all makes a lot of sense to me now :) –  Javeer Baker Feb 11 '13 at 20:19

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

I would be cautious. That said, I think there are easy alternatives that don't involve giving up exposure of your work through their advocacy.

If you value credibility as an independent researcher, you will be well served by not being perceived as shilling for any particular organization or political cause. I think the interests of the organization that is requesting permission to republish your dissertation is in line with this. If your research is findings that are politically expedient for them, they benefit from the enhanced credibility that you garner from perceived intellectual independence.

My advice would be something like this:

  1. Publish your dissertation on your own website or in your institutional archive. (If you don't have a website, now would be a great time to set one up!) It should only take a day or so to get set up.

  2. Once you've done that, suggest that the organization write a summary of your work on their website — clearly in their voice — and to link to or repost (if they feel that is absolutely necessary) your work.

You will benefit from the traffic to your website and they will benefit by having your work seem like the work of an independent researcher and not something done by someone inside. And indeed, it sounds like this is exactly the case!

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