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I work in physics.

Throughout my graduate career, I heard about people who have been known to see work done in a talk and subsequently catch up to that work and then-some, and attempt to publish first. I ignored this lore assuming it wasn't really true.

Now I am presenting at a conference where there will be someone (actually a big-wig) who has a reputation for this sort of maneuver, and I don't have a pre-print yet to post online.

Any recommendations about how to mitigate the potential for this to happen (besides being ready sooner obviously, I'm working very hard on this work). Thanks.

5

Give the impression that the preprint is almost ready so that big-wig sees no chance to be first.

4

Assuming you have results that are developed enough that there is something to steal, why are you giving talks before writing it up? Write it up and put a preprint on arXiv or similar. It doesn't have to be in 100% ready to submit form, just include the important parts that you are trying to establish precedence for.

Alternately, give a big-picture overview that does not give enough small details that your results could be recreated easily. Presumably your work would take even a big-wig months of compiling data, running computations, or SOMETHING before they could write a paper and submit it before you.

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