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I developed a survey and my study using the survey is still under review for a publication. However, my friend wants to use the survey and data for her study. I collected the data only in my school; she wants to collect additional data from a different school.

My concerns are:

  • If her study is published before mine, my study could be meaningless.
  • Also, the two studies could be very similar.

Is it okay to allow her to use my survey as well as my data?

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3 Answers 3

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I assume that your supervisor already know that you already submitted your work:
If your targeted publication venue allows you to publish pre-print than you may submit your work at arxiv or any other similar public library and give reference to you work in extended work conducted by your supervisor.Otherwise, you can give reference to your work in extended version with status "Under Review".

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If this person is using your data as one part in a larger project, then this is great. You should strongly encourage this as it will lead to a citation and more visibility for you. Indeed, that's the whole point of research.

If this person is simply going to repeat your test with larger statistics, then I think you should discuss the publication arrangements now before agreeing to this. It may be worth combining your papers into a single paper (with you as first author), or this may be significant enough to write a second paper with the larger statistics. The second paper can reference the first one even if it is under review, so the timing is not necessarily a problem. In any case, you should be clear now on what your authorship will be. Send an e-mail summarizing what you agreed on after the meeting so you have it in writing.

Finally, if you are a PhD student, then the correct answer is to discuss this with your advisor; they will know the specifics far better than anyone here.

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If your friend uses your work, academic ethics compels her to cite you, even if it is only as personal communication or similar. Currently, the typical type of citation would be unpublished or under review and this should be updated to your paper once it is published (the details may depend on field, citation style, and journal). Thus, it should be clear to everybody that your friend’s work fundamentally builds upon yours, and it would be absurd to consider your publication irrelevant due to your friend’s one. Of course, some reviewers and editors out there make absurd decisions, but that’s nothing I would consider likely and take into account.

You have to decide yourself how much you trust your friend to adhere to academic ethics (and cite you). At worst, you can contractually stipulate that any publication based on your work must cite you (or make you a co-author in the event that you do not publish). Either way, it is usually a good idea to have a discussion with everybody involved to clarify this and arrive at a common collaboration and publication strategy.

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