I am developing a tool for bioinformatics ... it is an application that will be open source when finished. It is something that has use outside of bioinformatics as well.
I am also using some open source tools to develop my application. When I need help with the open tools I'm using, it's kinda difficult for me to get the help I need without telling the people what I'm using it for.
I asked my prof if I could make the app public while it's in development, and he suggested it might be a bad idea to do that because of the potential of someone scooping the work and publishing it before we get a chance to do so.
My questions are:
How serious is this problem? Do people really just take someone else's work and publish it as their own? And do journals really allow this?
My prof mentioned this in terms of someone developing the tool on their own and then publishing it (i.e. take the idea but not necessarily the code). Is there anyway I could have my cake and eat it too - i.e. make the tool public and still guard against scooping?
How does your lab deal with open source tools? Do they get released to public before the publication?