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My work has been rejected from a conference. I am working on it to get accepted. As the conference is annually occurred, I think at least 6 or more months will be required to make another submission. However, I just noticed that my advisor shared my work with another student without notice. The other PhD student asked me how to apply my method into his project, which I was pondering for one of my next action items.

I am upset about my advisor, because he barely provided feedback on how to improve the outcomes. He does not copy his discussion with another student. I felt like he just tried to share my ideas to have more publication.

I understood that students should discuss and collaborate each other to improve research. According to another student's email, he does not seem to have any intention for collaboration. He just mentioned that he read my draft of paper and considered applicable to his research, so he just wants to know the implementation details.

I understand the value of collaboration. However, I am not sure if another student and I are supposed to work together, since my advisor did not inform anything about discussion with this student. The other student does not seem to have any intention of collaboration.

Should I just talk to my advisor not to share my undergoing work without any notice and inquire if I am supposed to collaborate or not?

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    Can you explain a little more which parts of this interaction with your advisor bothered you, or what worries you about this in the future? – AJK Feb 27 '17 at 1:57
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    If your paper got rejected from a conference, the usual thing to do is submitting it to another conference right away, not waiting one year and submitting it to the next edition of the same conference. – Federico Poloni Feb 27 '17 at 10:49
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There are two things that you need to address here: your advisor sharing your work with the other student, and the other student's request.

Regarding your advisor sharing your work, you should talk to your advisor about this but do NOT express anger. S/he was probably doing what they thought was best and did not realize it would upset you, and it is VERY important to keep a good relationship with your advisor, so I wouldn't start a fight over this. Just a simple "I appreciate this opportunity to help them with my methods, but I would appreciate it if in the future you would check with me first before showing my drafts to someone." or something similar. Keep it low-key, do not go in angry or expecting an apology, just express your preference for how situations like this should be handled in the future.

Regarding the second situation with the other student -- ask them if they'd like you as a collaborator on their paper! It's never too early to start working collaboratively!

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  • Is it okay if I tell my advisor about my anger? because I felt I do not have a good relationship with my advisor right now. Last week, when I shared my recent updates, he made a comment without understanding my work properly. Thus, I tried to explain my work again and address his point is not applicable. Then, he just yelled at me to do what he mentioned and finished meeting.. – Acer DC Feb 27 '17 at 4:40
  • Is he the irascible type? Was this out of character for him? If it weren't for this incident, I would have said that you should calmly tell him you felt uncomfortable when the other student spoke to you about your work. – aparente001 Feb 28 '17 at 2:56
  • Yes, he is. I am not sure if I am supposed to arrange a meeting with him. Do you think an email communication should be okay? – Acer DC Feb 28 '17 at 22:25
  • I don't think you need to set up a meeting just for this. Maybe bring it up next time you happen to be talking to him anyway? – Tapeworm Mar 3 '17 at 17:12
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Seems that you are worried about the method authorship, right?

If so, perhaps you should consider to publish a preprint of the work, the rejected version for instance. Many conferences and journals accept papers with prior preprint on servers like Arxiv.org. But remember to ask the permission from your co-authors to publish the preprint.

About a colleague interested in using your method, I would say that this is great. I would even ask him to collaborate on his project. Your method is not even published in traditional venues, but it's already impacting the community.

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    I think this really needs to address the advisor interaction more. In particular, you should not put a preprint of the work out there without your advisor's permission! – AJK Feb 27 '17 at 1:56
  • Sure! Mainly because the advisor should be one of the authors. Edited. – Klerisson Feb 27 '17 at 2:24
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    you should not put a preprint of the work out there without your advisor's permission -- Unless it's only your work, in which case your advisor is not a coauthor and you don't need their permission. – JeffE Feb 27 '17 at 2:56
  • Thank you for suggestion. I will also check the possibility of this with advisor if necessary. – Acer DC Feb 27 '17 at 4:41

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