My post is more related to private research than academic research, but as I think they could be strongly related, I thought this would be the most appropriate place to ask.
I have recently started working for a small startup in Brazil, where we conduct intensive research to develop a product. However, I have some doubts about how this is done in terms of ethics and licensing.
I am also student of a federal university and so I could freely access non-open-source papers via proxy or via Google CASA. However, I do not think this would be ethical since my work research is not related to the university, so I use to conduct the work research on anonymous browsing. However, my workmate researches using Mendeley and share with me pdfs of the papers, which are frequently non-open-access material. I have already questioned her about it, but she thinks it is everything ok and I'm not so sure of it, as brazilian people do not care much about these things. About this:
- Am I right in thinking that university students should not use the free-access benefit to access papers for work?
- If she is having access to non-open-access papers via Mendeley, does this mean that her university account is being used somehow or is it possible for a personal account to have this benefit via Mendeley?
- Since the pdfs are being shared internally but we are not making any business on themselves but on the knowledge we absorb from them, would this be considered commercial-use or be infringing any license/copyright terms?
If the answers to these questions point that the company's research conduct is beign wrong, I would appreciate to make things right. I wish we could be successful following the most ethical, legal and responsible ways, so I have one remaining question, maybe the most important one:
- What does a research company need to have a research power close to a university, i.e., to have a free/viable access to research from the most important publishers? Does research companies invest on buying every single material, limit their work only for open-acess or is there any kind of program for research in private companies?