Questions tagged [legal-issues]

On legal issues affecting academicians. Note that Academia.SE, like any SE site, cannot offer specific legal advice; consult a lawyer for such questions. Use [law], not [legal-issues], for questions on law as an academic discipline or field of study.

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16
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6answers
11k views

Is it bizarre that a professor asks every student for a 3 inch by 5 inch photograph? [closed]

The professor asks this of every student. It's 2 points on an introductory assignment worth 10. Does anyone think this is bizarre? I'm against it to the point that I think it should not be allowed by ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Is there anything I can do about shockingly poor quality course materials? [closed]

I'm currently 2/3 of the way through a degree program, and am continually shocked and dismayed for what my school is passing off as higher learning. The books, which are almost all made in house, are ...
16
votes
2answers
253 views

Does the GDPR cover reviewer blacklists, and if so, how? [closed]

I've served as an area chair for several conferences. Following the review period, the program chairs asked the area chairs to submit to them an annotated list of problematic reviewers. Mostly these ...
28
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3answers
17k views

What are the consequences of using Sci-Hub?

A student of mine has told me about Sci-Hub, where people can download copyrighted scholarly articles for free. I have cautioned him that it is illegal, but he challenged me asking me what would be ...
2
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2answers
355 views

Professor reaction to sci-hub articles

Suppose hypothetically I download certain new research articles from sci-hub which I read and eventually liked. Now if I contact the authors for follow up question/discussion, then is it a good idea ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Digital media rights for online courses (US)

I've been trying to research how digital media can be lawfully utilized for online, distance-learning courses. The specific use case here would not be a MOOC or anything massive, but an online course ...
0
votes
3answers
724 views

Allowed help in thesis

If you write a thesis, is it legal to ask somebody if things you did are correct in the thesis? When it's my own work and this person says, everything correct, there shouldn't be any problem, right? ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

My Anatomy and Physiology professor is charging for the outline [duplicate]

My class already requires two books for the lecture and one for the lab. Is it actually legal to charge $15 for the course outline, written by the professor and published by the community college. I ...
37
votes
8answers
58k views

Legality of downloading books from websites such as Library Genesis

I am an international student who will be joining a graduate program at a US university starting Fall '18. In my home country, I have used such websites as Library Genesis and BookFi to download ...
3
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0answers
82 views

Research assistant in Germany. When is it possible to switch projects

I'm a research assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) in Germany in a BMBF funded project. I just got an offer to join a project that has a longer runtime than my current project and offers more ...
3
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0answers
137 views

Have there been attempts to get around “DeWitt clause”-like license restrictions?

(This is a complementary question to: Has the DeWitt Clause, which prevents publication of named DBMS benchmarks, ever been successfully defended in court?) Several commercial database vendors ...
29
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2answers
1k views

Has the DeWitt Clause, which prevents publication of named DBMS benchmarks, ever been successfully defended in court?

Several commercial database vendors include an end-user license agreement provision, known as the DeWitt Clause, that prohibits researchers and scientists from explicitly using the names of their ...
-1
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2answers
177 views

If I wrote a textbook, or other form of academic material, is it okay to use problems found online?

Lets say I decided to write a small textbook, similar to how people have all sorts of "Learn to Program" books, but for other subjects like Calc, Chemistry, or similar. If I used examples problems, ...
15
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3answers
1k views

How to legally re-use images in paper and still continue to use and distribute them in slides?

I have created several figures that are a part of presentation slides. As usual for presentation slides, those were not published in any official proceedings (just the underlying paper, that didn't ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Can I publish photos or reconstructed drawing of the internal part of a patented instrument?

I am doing a publication using a specific optical instrument protected by different patents. To see how it works I opened it and I have redrawn the arrangement of the optical components. Am I allow to ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Are academic associations obliged to comply with the US government?

I'm shocked by the news that IEEE is forced to ban Huawei employees to be editors and reviewers. It makes me wonder if, hypothetically, the US government determine to "ban" a certain group of people, ...
147
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12answers
41k views

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

I'm taking a course named Numerical and Computational Methods Based on Mathematica (Or in Chinese: "基于Mathematica的数值计算方法"), but Wolfram Mathematica is a bit expensive for me to afford. On the first ...
24
votes
4answers
17k views

What laws exist in India to protect students from harassment by teachers/professors?

I am a college student in Rajasthan. I had a chance to address a large group at a college function, and in my address I said unfavorable things about professors in the college. Since then, I believe ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it okay to upload the PDF of my non-open access papers in academia.edu or research gate?

Is it legal to upload a PDF of my non-open-access papers to research networks, such as ResearchGATE and Academia.edu? I am pretty sure that it could cause some problems, because normally people ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Rights of academic researchers [closed]

I'm trying to find some documentation on how are the rights of academic workers defined and protected by law in my country. Unsurprisingly, all I found is strictly administrative stuff related to ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Taking my research idea outside my paid job

I'm doing a (paid, contractual) remote research internship with a research institute in Germany. My job is to come up with novel ideas, write papers for technical conferences and try to publish them. ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

posting photos of my students in classroom

Is it legal/ethical to include photos of my students in my classroom online (as in my online portfolio)?
4
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4answers
362 views

Should I consider my conference paper as published, if fee is paid but I didn't attend the conference?

I submitted a conference paper some time ago to a trusted highly ranked conference. Strangely enough there's almost no communication from their part, no replies most of the time to my inquiries. The ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

What are the considerations when using an advertising slogan, song lyric, etc. in the title of my paper?

I've noticed that in economics and business, people often use catchy or interesting titles for their papers. I was wondering specifically about the use of references to song lyrics, slogans, TV shows, ...
3
votes
0answers
177 views

Is it legal to discuss exercise problems and solutions for a textbook?

Is it legal for a website to create an entry for a particular book, and add all the exercise problems (not the question completely but just the question number) and create a reddit kind of discussion ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

About legality on self-plagiarism when publishing an article

I found out that a collegue published about 5 years ago a paper in the proceedings of a conference about education in engineering (proceedings has ISBN, but publication has no DOI, in case that ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Thesis: including an information not officially accepted (legal issue)

In the preface of my thesis, I have written an information that involves me, my supervisor, and my university, in a project driven by a government agency. I say in the preface that I have designed the ...
64
votes
8answers
63k views

Is watching porn in university a crime?

I am about to start my graduate studies in an American university, moving from my native Peru. Over the course of my under-graduation, I have developed this strange habit of watching porn at odd times,...
8
votes
1answer
805 views

Using mendeley and science papers from sci-hub in Germany

I am using mendeley to organize all my science papers and to keep things structured. From time to time capitalism forces me to get the texts from sci-hub which is not totally legit. Now I noticed ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

If a grad student is working as a TA, can they also be asked to work as their adviser's lab manager for free?

I have been my adviser's chemistry lab manager for the past 2 years, mostly working as a TA to pay the bills while I try to get research done. My adviser has no funding so I've been running the lab ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

How to expedite? Compensation? University still hasn't provided alternative formats after 9 months

Facts My visually impaired brother attends university ("UNI") in England. In Jul 2017, he requested Alternative Formats. As of Apr 11 2018, UNI's Library still hasn't contacted the publishers, but ...
170
votes
7answers
40k views

Is it acceptable to publish student names with the label 'stupid question', on a publicly-visible website?

While I was browsing faculty websites, I came across this page (new link: http://www.pdmi.ras.ru/~iaroslav/teaching.php?screen_check=done&Width=360&Height=640). Near the bottom there is a ...
2
votes
1answer
294 views

Can you be working remotely on your PhD thesis of another country and then enroll and get a master/PhD in US at the same time?

A friend of mine has finished his courses needed for his PhD. He's just working on his thesis now. He can do that remotely. He's coming to the U.S. for his wife to study. During this time, can he ...
6
votes
5answers
615 views

Using downloaded NES/SNES ROM files for research work

For my research work I need to use (playing) popular retro NES/SNES games like Super Mario, Tetris, Contra etc. My doubt - Is legal to use downloaded ROM files for research work? The only official ...
40
votes
7answers
8k views

A team member of a coursework software development project didn't contribute in any way. Can I remove his name from the project?

I am the project manager of a small team of five undergraduate developers who have been working for months on a large system for our Senior Capstone project. Four members of the team, including myself,...
44
votes
8answers
11k views

Co-authors decided to remove most of my contributions from a Nature paper without my consent

I am a postdoc and have dedicated the past five years to working on a big project spanning several groups and countries. My and my supervisor’s contribution was to interpret their results in light of ...
31
votes
4answers
20k views

Is it legal to use Sci-Hub in Germany?

I used to use this website to get the research papers that are not freely available online. So, passing the right name of any research work for this Russian website will derive the paper directly to ...
37
votes
4answers
5k views

I believe a publisher is infringing copyright when reproducing a figure I created. What can I do?

A few months ago an Elsevier representative contacted me asking for permission to reproduce one of my thesis figures in one of their books. Since this figure is only in my thesis (introduction section)...
10
votes
1answer
476 views

In the EU, how much protection do I have if I report an assault on myself by my department head?

I had a very ugly incident at my corrupt institute (I live in E. EU). In short, I was assaulted by one of the department's heads during my own group meeting on my own grant for daring to "back talk" ...
2
votes
1answer
276 views

What should I do when my work has been published by my supervisor without my knowledge?

I had worked on a project for my bachelor thesis in 2012 and in 2013, I moved to Germany for further study. Now when I am facing several interviews for Ph.D. and the supervisors ask if I have ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “thanks x-institute for hospitality” mean in an acknowledgement?

What does The author wishes to thank institute X for hospitality. mean in an acknowledgement? Does it imply that they paid me a hotel or a per diem, or is it enough if they provided me an ...
36
votes
1answer
4k views

How to prosecute plagiarism when the discoverer of the plagiarism is an outside third party?

Recently a group of students have investigated the the alleged plagiarism in the thesis of one of the most famous alumnus's of Glasgow Caledonian University. In one specific case, a crowd-sourced ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Public dataset without license: what is allowed?

Many public scientific datasets are accompanied by a license, for example variations of Creative Commons are used quite often. However, in many cases public academic datasets lack any licensing ...
42
votes
3answers
8k views

Persistent issues with salary pay as a postdoc in China: What can I do?

I am a third-time postdoc, and had never before had problems with getting paid. For almost two years now I have been a postdoctoral fellow at a university in southern China. This is my first ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

Sharing a master thesis with a third party before the final exam

I start by describing the situation: a friend of mine is a master student in Italy, and is going to graduate soon. She wrote her master thesis and submitted it, and should have her final exam (the one ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Post doctoral while working on self employed job

I am in need to know if there is a provision wherein I could do a post-doctorate in the USA for a year or two, while I am owning my own Biotechnology firm back in my home country?
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Web Crawl Dataset - Legal & Practical feedback [closed]

I'm working on a web site classification method. Papers in field (Text Classification / Web Page Classification) are usually using: a) Ancient, but well known & widely adopted, datasets like ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it appropriate for a PI to appoint someone who is a family member?

I am a junior faculty in one of the top-tier research US institutions. I just joined the department and hired two GRAs meanwhile. In addition, I would like to appoint one more individual in my ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

Releasing crawled data: Potential legal challenge? [closed]

In many occasions in computer science I saw papers that analyze social network data also released these data, such as http://socialnetworks.mpi-sws.org/data-imc2007.html http://socialcomputing.asu....
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Restroom and lunch breaks in medical school

My apologies if this is not the right place to be asking this question. My pregnant wife is an osteopathic medical student in New Mexico, and she tells me that the school does not always give them a ...