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111 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to review a paper which builds on my work?

You were probably chosen to be reviewer because it is built on your work and therefore have intensive background knowledge on this topic. As long as you have not worked and do not intend to work on ...
Claude's user avatar
  • 2,878
107 votes

Should you recuse yourself from the hiring committee if you have had a past romantic relationship with an applicant?

I will almost guarantee that your university has a Compliance office. Here's the one for my university; you'll notice that it has both a number of links to written guidelines, as well as phone numbers ...
eykanal's user avatar
  • 48.5k
107 votes
Accepted

Should I get a letter of recommendation from my mother, who is a famous researcher in my field?

I would say no, this is a very very bad idea. Your mother going on about how likely you are to succeed will probably not carry much weight. What else would your mother say? If you were unlikely to be ...
xxxxxxxxx's user avatar
  • 6,148
104 votes

My adviser wants to use my code for a spin-off, but I want to use it for my own company

Actually, I do not really understand your general strategy: If the code is published under MIT license and the details of the algorithm are published, then pretty much anybody can use this code or ...
J Fabian Meier's user avatar
89 votes

How would you handle a colleague offering your PhD student a postdoc position?

You don't own your students; your role is to educate them and teach them about their field - in terms of content, in terms of conduct of research, and in terms of navigating the professional ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 120k
87 votes
Accepted

My significant other is a member of a research project that I coordinate. How to allocate funding?

I served for a couple of years on the Conflict of Interest Committee of my institution. During that time I learned many useful and sometimes counterintuitive things about the subject. The principles ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 192k
84 votes

Is Obama's JAMA paper OK?

Authorship: This one is messy. The JAMA instructions say Authorship credit should be based only on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
74 votes
Accepted

Do I have an "anti-research" personality?

Having a broad set of interests and knowledge is fine, and can lead to some 'outside of the box' solutions. Yes, you will find periods where anything else is more interesting than your PhD work, ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 833
67 votes

Conflicted about performing joint research with individuals from an enemy country

I think a reasonable advisor would accept what you say here. "I'll be in danger, personally and reputationally, if my name is associated with country X in any way." People understand that ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
65 votes

Why does my advisor / professor discourage all collaboration?

This sounds pretty extreme, even for the "sink or swim" school of education. If you can meet the extreme standard without going crazy you will probably turn out ok, if a bit of a workaholic. ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 370k
65 votes

My peers think I slept with my overly friendly TA - what do I do?

It sounds like this incident has run its course and there's not a whole lot left to be done. This can be hard to accept: we as humans have a real need for closure, and we like everything to be ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
64 votes
Accepted

My student in one course asks for paid tutoring in another course. Appropriate?

You're correct in feeling uneasy. Even if you are not yourself improperly influenced, there would definitely be the appearance of possibility of improper influence, which is as important, in terms of ...
paul garrett's user avatar
  • 89.1k
60 votes
Accepted

Is offering jobs to students I'm teaching as a "representative of industry" OK?

I agree completely with the others that you should check with your university and your company. Their opinions are the ones that matter. Still, it is quite possible that your institutions will not ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
59 votes
Accepted

What do you do when you are asked to perform an official review for a journal of a manuscript written by your supervisor?

If this is an informal request for internal review -- definitely go ahead. It is common practice to have close associates review work, and your thoughtful comments will gain you respect. If this is a ...
HEITZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
56 votes

Should I get a letter of recommendation from my mother, who is a famous researcher in my field?

Your mother is not a suitable person to write a letter of recommendation. Even people who know her professionally may not know whether she can write a really objective letter about you. One of your ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
56 votes

Teaching the daughter of a lecturer, while being simultaneously enrolled in his course

I’ve had to teach colleagues children, nephews, and even the son & daughter of the Dean. Be professional. Treat and grade them the same as any other student. They also think “oh sh*t s/he knows ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 28.1k
54 votes

Colleague stole my work and is publishing it as his own; my PhD supervisor supports him; I got the paper to review. How to proceed?

You shouldn't even think about it, do not review that paper, it's a clear conflict of interest, even more because the author is your direct colleague. And the only solution is to sit all together and ...
Herman Toothrot's user avatar
54 votes

Renting a house to a graduate student in my department

At the time they sign the lease there is no conflict of interest. Further, there is no conflict of interest anticipated throughout the duration of the lease. There is of course the possibility that an ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
52 votes

Can someone interview their sibling?

Interviewing a family member is not permitted. Yes, you should raise a complaint. Do it politely, of course. But in the end, you have to ask yourself whether or not a work group that would even try to ...
Philly's user avatar
  • 1,158
51 votes

Recommendation letter by significant other if you worked with them professionally?

No. If she discloses your relationship in the letter, the reviewer will likely disregard the letter completely, and may question your judgment for having asked her for a letter. If she does not ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
50 votes
Accepted

Conflict of interest as a referee?

Disclose your possible conflict to the editor and let them decide. "I had no direct role in the submitted work but am currently collaborating with Drs. Moe, Curly, and Larry on separate projects on ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 120k
45 votes

Is Obama's JAMA paper OK?

My thoughts: Authorship: This is probably the most problematic one, as it seems unlikely that this was entirely written by the President, especially given the acknowledgements. But it's also possible ...
Fomite's user avatar
  • 52.1k
43 votes
Accepted

Affiliation in conflict-of-interest situations

I disagree pretty strenuously with what you have done. First of all, being an alumnus is not an "affiliation". If you weren't a student or employee of the university at the time you did the work, it'...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Should I list people who are in competition with me as reviewers to exclude for "conflict of interest"?

In my experience, when a conference asks authors to identify reviewers that are conflicted, they want you to identify reviewers who fall into certain categories of people who should not review your ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
41 votes

Colleague stole my work and is publishing it as his own; my PhD supervisor supports him; I got the paper to review. How to proceed?

There are two different questions here. One is easy, one is hard. The easy question is: "Should I review the paper?". No. Definitely not. It goes against the ethical standards of every respectable ...
nabla's user avatar
  • 13.4k
39 votes
Accepted

What happens if an author acknowledges a potential anonymous referee in the paper?

As an editor in both computer science and biology, I would generally consider a person listed in the acknowledgements to be involved enough to have a conflict of interest, and therefore would not ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 189k
39 votes
Accepted

As a private tutor, is it ethical to recommend the student take more classes?

I don't see a problem with saying what you think; indeed, some readers would consider it to be unethical not to say anything. As for the problem of looking as if you are merely being self-serving, I ...
CrimsonDark's user avatar
  • 11.2k
37 votes

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

The rules differ from country to country, university to university, and department to department. On a practical note, I would not want to be in a supervisory role towards a family member. In that ...
Maarten Buis's user avatar
  • 44.5k
37 votes

Can a husband be a corresponding author in a wife's research publication during her Ph.D.?

Yes, a person can be a corresponding author in their spouse's research, even in all of their publications. Whether this occurs during the spouse's PhD studies or not is irrelevant. Who the spouse's ...
Adam Přenosil's user avatar

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