126 votes
Accepted

Are TED presentations academically credible?

I think you are asking two slightly different questions at the same time: “Are TED speakers and their ideas credible? (as in "likely to be correct")” I'd say yes, since TED's process for inviting ...
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125 votes
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Is it ethical for a Professor to disseminate wrong answers online?

I have a strong negative opinion on this. In 2002, I joined a PhD program and was at the same level of computer science education as peers who had recently completed CS degrees at good schools. My ...
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86 votes
Accepted

Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?

A small sidenote to start things off: If I tell them "I read from Wikipedia that..." I get dismissed immediately, yet in online forums we use it like a Bible. Well, one of the reasons for that is ...
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  • 126k
83 votes
Accepted

Is it ethical to get some help from Stack Exchange for my research as a PhD student?

Yes, it is ethical to seek, accept, and use help in a dissertation. The only difficulty in accepting help from others, and especially on sites like this, is giving acknowledgement to those who provide ...
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  • 258k
79 votes
Accepted

How old can references or sources in a thesis be?

References can be as old as they need to be to cover the material. I had some that were more than 30 years old. But if all of your references are "old," people are going to want to know why. You ...
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  • 25.1k
78 votes

Is it ethical for a Professor to disseminate wrong answers online?

This "solution" you've presented was brought up in a related question from a while ago. ...Then I went to Yahoo Answers, made a bunch of fake accounts, and posted tantalizingly wrong answers to all ...
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  • 5,922
70 votes
Accepted

Creating a permanent URL to put in a publication

Maybe Zenodo or other "Academic Data Repository". Googling this would give you a list. Zenodo have some advantages. Gives you a DOI, Digial Object Identifier, a unique link and a academic standard ...
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  • 1,605
62 votes

Is it ethical for a Professor to disseminate wrong answers online?

It is massively unethical, because the internet does not exist in a vacuum. Consider the possibility that someone looking for a valid answer online, because they do not have or cannot afford this ...
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  • 2,721
52 votes
Accepted

How do I get an email alert when my paper is cited?

You can set up an alert on Google scholar that will do exactly what you want. From Google's help page: How do I get notified when a particular paper is cited? Search for the title of your paper, e.g.,...
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  • 17.7k
50 votes

Creating a permanent URL to put in a publication

If you also have some code associated with this data that you might like to share, another option might be GitHub. You wouldn't host the 12GB dataset in a GitHub repository itself; instead you would ...
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  • 16.2k
47 votes

Is it legal in the US for a student to download a copy of a textbook, to study?

In general, it is not considered fair use to download the entirety of a textbook, regardless of whether or not you're a student or enrolled in a class using the textbook. Fair use normally is ...
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  • 171k
46 votes
Accepted

How to advertise a paper to increase citations?

Aside from giving excellent talks at important conferences, here are several other ideas. I've seen all of these work (although rarely all for the same paper). Maintain a freely available copy (or ...
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  • 96.8k
46 votes
Accepted

Is it legal in the US for a student to download a copy of a textbook, to study?

Short answer: Nope. Long answer: It's complicated. The proportion of the work copied can actually be the whole of the work (i.e. 100%), if the other parts of the fair use test provide a strong enough ...
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  • 1,113
40 votes
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Why do conferences and other academic events still mostly happen offline?

Conferences are not organised for the talks alone. They are more like the academic equivalent of a pool party or a weekend football league. Although on the face of it the purpose might look like ...
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40 votes
Accepted

Why are online lecture notes usually not accessible to non-students?

Surely 'cuz you're not paying the tuition for the class... To put it bluntly, that's what tuition is for: to give you access to class material and instructor time. I doubt having coursework material ...
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  • 19.2k
37 votes

Why does this US DOI manuscript on archaeological sites have blacked-out text?

The gps coordinates or other similar information is withheld for some sensitive archeological sites to try to minimize vandalism and other issues such as unauthorized "collectors". For ...
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  • 258k
32 votes
Accepted

How do I generate an Undergraduate Thesis worthy of publication?

What do you expect from a good bachelor's thesis? The expectations for a bachelor's thesis vary from country to country and from field to field. However, I think the main points can be summarised as ...
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  • 18.7k
31 votes

Are there any online tools to calculate academic collaboration distance (i.e. a generalisation of the Erdős number)?

I have been using https://www.csauthors.net/distance for a few years now. It seems to work decent considering I am not a mathematician either. However, it does not work on your name :(
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30 votes

Creating a permanent URL to put in a publication

There are services that provide enough to support 12 GB of data. For example, Figshare provides 20 GB of free space (file size limit 5 GB) for private storage and apparently unlimited public space. ...
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28 votes
Accepted

Is the Chegg Honor Shield tool an effective promotor of Academic Honesty?

I'll make the argument: No, instructors should not use this tool at Chegg. In general, Chegg is among the worst actors of the online academic community. Their business model is fundamentally ...
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27 votes

Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?

I think the primary reason professors don't want students to use Wikipedia is because a lot of students only quote Wikipedia instead of actually researching a topic. The great thing about Wikipedia ...
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  • 911
26 votes

Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?

Being a Wikipedia contributor myself I would not like to see my students cite wikipedia, though I would not say that such citations should be forbidden. Here are a few reasons for this: Wikipedia is ...
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  • 1,503
26 votes

Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?

The very fact that you need to ask this question, in a way, provides its own answer. One of the primary functions of academia is to teach the skills of research. There are two aspects to this, ...
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  • 2,938
25 votes

Are TED presentations academically credible?

TED talks are for popularizing ideas in science, technology and arts, as emphasized in their tagline: Ideas worth spreading. Very often they are a nice starting point to get interested into a ...
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  • 25.6k
24 votes
Accepted

What is the preferable way to share data?

The most common and sustainable thing to do is to deposit the data in a research data repository. Depending on which one you choose, the data will get a persistent identifier, e.g. a DOI, can be cited ...
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24 votes

Why does this US DOI manuscript on archaeological sites have blacked-out text?

Yes, this is a form of censorship. However, it is well motivated and is meant to protect important cultural resources. It is likely that most of the information which has been redacted is related to ...
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22 votes

Why are online lecture notes usually not accessible to non-students?

In my observation, this change is a recent epiphenomenon that is tied to the widespread organizational deployment of learning management systems (LMS). Thirty years ago, course notes were not ...
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  • 180k
21 votes
Accepted

How to find credible sources for a general reference?

I tend to use books for this sort of thing. For example, if I need a definition of "data mining", I do a Google Books search for that term. A book about "data mining" is going to define the term in ...
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  • 11.4k
21 votes

Is it ok to share a a client's dataset on github, along with my code?

My take, as someone who tends to use other people's data in extended analysis, and does enjoy having the most up-to-date version of an analysis/etc. up on GitHub: Should I ask each user if they ...
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  • 51k
21 votes
Accepted

What value does self-learning a course (or several) have in graduate admissions?

Does it carry any importance? (to admissions) Little to none. Anyone can claim to have studied something independently. If you want to increase your chances of admissions, you need to provide ...
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