I've been invited to present a talk at another university on a topic of my choice, and I have decided to share the literature review section of the paper I'm working on and haven't published yet. Wondering if it is okay to ask the organizers not to record my presentation? What's the right way to approach this situation? The lit review has strong hints about my research question, and I am worried about potential plagiarism since I have been burned before when I openly shared too many details about my research ideas. Should I hold back on sharing the niche I've identified in the literature since I haven't published the paper yet? So conflicted.


You tell the organizers you don't want your presentation to be recorded. That's about it. I've attended talks where the speaker said "these results are preliminary, please do not share" which is similar.

Although in your case I wonder why you are giving a presentation in the first place, if you don't want other people to know what your research question is. Like, what are you going to say in the presentation if you are not going to discuss your research question? Are you hoping to make your presentation so arcane that the audience cannot remember what you are doing? It doesn't make sense. You might just want to decline the invitation.

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    Yes, the not-recording request is easy, and surely granted. But people can take notes ... gasp... on paper, etc. Probably one cannot score the CV-padding "has given a talk" without imparting some information to other people. Jan 14 at 2:42

Where there is an audience, there will be some recording. If not a full recording, there will be some who take photographs, voice notes, screenshots and the like. The organizers can never guarantee against these. You can only request them and hope the audience acts in good faith.

Crucially, you are allowed to choose the topic of choice, so why not choose something else? Also, a talk based on literature review alone does sound a little unappealing, although this might be field-specific.

It seems to make more sense to instead talk about something you've already published, give some insights into it that aren't already there in the paper, maybe show its connection with the evolving state of the field, etc.

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    Thank you, this was helpful. I'm a graduate student, and this will be a talk among fellow grads where we have the liberty to present our research at whatever stage it currently is.
    – Ran
    Jan 15 at 1:48
  • Ah, thanks for sharing that. Your supervisor might possibly be able to help refine what you share too. Jan 15 at 3:39

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