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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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95
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5answers
18k views

Are non-citizen Muslim professors and students going to be removed from US universities and subsequently deported by Trump's ban?

Does anyone have any information on this? Are academics somehow protected from Trump's ban on Muslims? I know that some have the "alien of extraordinary ability" work visa, but what about for ...
6
votes
2answers
283 views

Does FERPA apply to university teachers when they are working as private tutors?

In addition to teaching at a U.S. university, I also do some private tutoring on the side. I am always scrupulous about observing my university's conflict of interest policy, which prohibits tutoring ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Using public profile data from website for research

A member of our department plans to download millions of profiles from a public website. The data is freely accessible after you have logged in, though there is a company behind the website that does ...
-7
votes
2answers
463 views

Can I sue my university for allowing me to take classes at the same time (schedule conflict)? [closed]

I took a class that started at 5:30. Another class I was taking started the same time. Can I get a refund or sue for this, as there should have been a message not letting me complete my schedule ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
236 views

Is it legal to use images from social networks for research?

I would like to use images from social media (e.g. imgur, Facebook, Flickr etc) for research (ie not for profit or any industrial use). Would it be legal to use images (for analysis, etc), if I do ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I recommend a student requiring extended deadlines?

Some of my students get extended deadlines on assignments due to a disability. They are not required to tell me the nature of their disability (which may be physical, intellectual, or psychological), ...
2
votes
1answer
610 views

Is it a FERPA violation for instructor to display grades in public computer file system?

My instructor placed grade sheets for our first two projects into a "Dropbox" file system which has absolutely no access control. So not only every student could see every other student's grades and ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Is it possible to get an ISSN number for an online journal from an other country?

We are a group of international graduates in the process of launching an open access e-journal and we are now facing the different technical steps. Our based country has an ISSN national center, ...
40
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I secretly record a meeting to prove I'm being discriminated against?

I'm a PhD student at a university in the UK. The head and director of graduate studies at my department are trying to get me removed from the department. Almost all of this is going on over my head, ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it lawful for a fellowship linked to a permanent faculty position at a British university in the STEM field to only be available to females?

The internally funded Anne McLaren Fellowships at The University of Nottingham state in their eligibility that "Candidates for the Anne McLaren Fellowships must be female and pursuing a career in a ...
60
votes
12answers
12k views

What are the legal and ethical implications of “padding” pay with extra hours to compensate for unpaid work?

I have come into a strange position and could greatly use some advice on how I should proceed. I am an undergraduate student at an American university in a computer engineering program. For the last ...
0
votes
2answers
230 views

Whose lab is it? [closed]

As a follow-up to this question: Who does a lab belong to? Is the lab the sole property of the PI (lets assume a simple/small lab with a single PI bringing in all the intramural and extramural ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

I'm a PhD student, my supervisor is a complete bully. Should I take legal action? [closed]

If a PhD student has been bullied by their supervisor, should they take legal action and sue for damages? Taking legal action could prevent the supervisor from subjecting others to this treatment in ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Can one blow the whistle on a professor who excludes students on the basis of their personal life?

This post is an attempt to reformulate this misunderstood question. I (and others) did add clarifying information, taken from the OP's comments, to the question, but I believe the whole Q&A&...
-2
votes
1answer
276 views

Would you go public with corruption? [closed]

What if there is a hypothetical situation where someone witnessed an enormous amount of corruption in their department/institution; let us say that it is not simply a whiny graduate student, but a ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What rights do students in the U.S. have re gender pronouns?

What federally protected legal rights does a transgender student in the U.S. have re gender pronouns used in referring to the student? This question was inspired by the recent discussion of gender ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

Was there ever a case where one has to prove access to materials cited?

One can obtain reference materials from various sources. If not of open access, it could be either bought from a publisher or downloaded with an institutional license or even borrowed from a colleague....
147
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Copyright-related advice for graphic designer creating content for academic publications

I'm in the following situation: I'm a researcher and hold a degree in life sciences. I also like graphic design and occasionally doodle up a figure to include in a report or such. I'm not a ...
2
votes
2answers
243 views

How can I avoid learning secrets at a research internship that would block me from legally pursuing research interests after it's over?

I'm applying for a reserach internship at a company at which I just finished a software internship. I also want to go to grad school to get a Master's degree in computational neuroscience. Does ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Professional editing of a thesis

I am a professional freelance editor. I edited a thesis and subsequently the candidate has refused to pay my fee. Can I claim intellectual property rights over those editing changes and require the ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Asking a company for permission to use website data for research

I'm a researcher, and I want to scrape a website (specifically, TripAdvisor) to collect data in order to use it for a research project. However, in reading the website's terms & conditions, I ...
49
votes
4answers
7k views

I wrote the code based on a paper's methodology; are there any legal problems with making it open source?

I coded the methodology based on the paper "Free Water Elimination and Mapping from Diffusion MRI" and I am curious if I am legally bound to take permission from the authors or the journal in making ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Using company names in research papers?

I'm doing a study about soft drinks showing their effects on a certain group of people. I'm using brand names like Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc. and I wonder if I can use the names in the research paper and ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

What is the legal status of an open access academic publication?

I'm interested in the legal status of a published academic open access product. Is it considered a commercial product or not, even if published by a company that usually earns money (in one way or ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I describe in my own word few experiments from some academic papers to write a popular science book?

My book is about a theory that is based upon existing theories and recent experiments in biology. Since biology is not my main field, and since my theory is interesting to the general public, I self-...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

Academic changing universities: How to negotiate start date to minimise problems with leaving previous university with little notice?

I have an offer at another university. It is late June, just got it. They want me asap. I have asked to not go until after the fall semester as we have an accreditation site visit as well as a ...
8
votes
2answers
189 views

Citing Math Lesson Plans

If I am creating lesson plans, do I need to cite the various websites I use for my work? It is for math, and the information I have used is found in thousands of sites. I have not taken any lesson ...
5
votes
0answers
192 views

Research Gate gathering data [closed]

Does anybody know how ResearchGate gather data? I just clicked on a scientific paper in my browser (not through Research Gate), and in less than an hour I had received an e-mail notification that the ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Advisor associated with the U.S. Army want their name removed from the text of a published article

I have been contacted by an individual with a request to remove their name from an article our journal published two years ago. The individual was identified as a Culture and Foreign Language Advisor ...
13
votes
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 ...
34
votes
1answer
3k views

Am I allowed to show properly redacted exams to a colleague to determine if cheating occurred?

On an exam I recently administered, I discovered that several students had turned in essentially the same solutions for multiple questions. Before launching an academic dishonesty investigation, ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Is it ok to give your Old Assignments to others?

My friend wants an old assignment which I have done few semesters ago. I want to know whether it's ok to give the assignment to him and whether it's going to be a problem for me in the future. (I have ...
34
votes
10answers
17k views

Writing someone else's master's thesis: Unethical and illegal?

It is really difficult for me to decide on this situation: when someone calls me and asks for work-for-hire for his/her thesis. I don't know what to do. I want to help and earn money but I think this ...
2
votes
0answers
191 views

Ethics and legality of scraping (and ultimately publishing about) publicly available information from journal websites

I'm interested in scraping publicly available information from journal websites (such as article titles, authors, abstracts, and keywords). After scraping the data, I'm interested in analyzing the ...
46
votes
1answer
8k views

Alma mater (USA) refuses to remove my name from public search

The professor of a US university where I graduated from with a master's degree maintains a website that he makes available for public search. He lists students that attended one of his courses, ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I address a potential FERPA violation by a professor?

In the United States, federal law prohibits professors from releasing any student's grades to any party other than the student and any party whom the student authorizes to receive the grades. One of ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What should I do if I have accepted an offer informally but am denied the job?

This is a follow up to my other question. In November last year I accepted an informal offer of a position at a university outside my country of residence. Since then, I have in good faith withdrawn ...
64
votes
8answers
62k 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,...
14
votes
1answer
580 views

Do Nature journals wrongly claim copyright in their published pdfs?

I just noticed this and I'm slightly confused by a small detail. The Nature Publishing Group states in its Publishing Licences page that the copyright on articles remains with the author: NPG does ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

One student grading other students' assignments in the same course?

In the US, can a student who is already enrolled in a course grade homework assignments of all other students in the same course (but not actually accessing and changing academic records)? Is it legal ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

What are the legal ramifications of citing scientific articles for producing commercial software?

I am a sophomore student building some software with friends that are heavily based on various articles about distributed hash tables, networking, and various topological mathematical concepts. Since ...
4
votes
1answer
379 views

Risk to academic reputation by publicly requesting pay-walled articles

The Twitter hashtag #ICanHazPDF has been popular among academics as a method for peer-to-peer exchange of pay-walled articles. Some people call this practice "piracy", and it could be illegal ...
11
votes
2answers
512 views

Xilinx university program terms issue

I work at a university and want to get some FPGA development boards sponsored by Xilinx for labs. They have a donation program, so I filled a request. But after the final submission I've been ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Do I own the copyright to my Master's thesis? or does it belong to my university?

I am just done with my Masters degree in one of the universities in Germany. I am wondering if I can make my Master's thesis open for public to download and read. I am not talking about submitting ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Steps to take from a paper to a patent?

My question relates to the following thread I posted some weeks ago: How to publish a paper that does not seem to be within the scope of any journal? I have written the paper mentioned in that ...
4
votes
4answers
197 views

Is it legal for a US professor to require remuneration from the foreigner for consulting services? [closed]

A person with allegedly academic affiliation from some foreign country approaches me with the request to help them in research being within my expertise. The request anticipates about 10 hours of ...
-1
votes
2answers
371 views

Software copyright issues [closed]

Who owns the intellectual rights for the newly developed software if it was developed during the employee's free time? The developer was 1) working as full-time employee at university X in Western ...