Saturday, January 31, 2009

I don't know what to think...

... but, it seems to me that a much more established person in my field has decided to take the same theoretical basis as my dissertation.

This is odd because, to my recollection, this person hasn't been making this argument in the past -- although, I'll have to look carefully to be sure --

And -- this person has been on panels with me in the past -- when I've used this theoretical basis to make a different argument.

The thing is, this isn't a common thread to pull. Nobody's published stuff that really uses this theoretical construct since the 1970s....

And, when I walked into the presentation room -- the person looked a bit unsettled (maybe they were pre--presentation nervous??) -- and, during the presentation, they acknowledged that our papers overlap.... yea, at the theory level.

The thing is, I'm darned sure I didn't take this idea from him/his work.... attributed or not. He does cite one of the same basic references I do -- hmmmmm.

I've had this basic argument as part of my dissertation work for years -- ('cuz I'm slow and have a 5/5).

The paper I presented last year uses it explicitly -- and that took me at least a year to develop...

I'm trying to be happy that someone is establishing this framework -- and, frankly, that the way they do it has problems I didn't raise at his presentation ('cuz someone else ignored the word 'short' in 'we can take one more short question').

I'm trying not to feel like they stole my idea.

7 comments:

Rhonda said...

Oh, I am sorry.

Last year, when I was revising a conference paper for publication, I found a new article making more or less my argument. AFAIK, the author (well-established) didn't get the idea from me, but still, it hurts to be scooped, even innocently.

timna said...

is it possible that there's room for both of you in this idea? I was once very intimidated presenting with an established scholar about the same text (that's why we were on the panel together, I guess). But her take was different enough (and I'm convinced wrong), that it was a good experience.

Yours sounds like you agree with the idea and need to establish some ownership. Any way to get something in print? Or discuss it with the scholar?

JustMe said...

hmm, that does not sound good to me... maybe i'm just prone to suspicion though...

Rose said...

I think this might be worth talking over with your dissertation director. You shouldn't change anything about your work, but if you were my student I would want to think about what might have led this other person to poach (because that's what it sounds like to me), and how you might handle it.

Arbitrista said...

I'm impressed with how calm you're being. I'd be freaking out.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

What's odd about the whole thing is that the 'paper' (it was more like a written version of what he said in the session -- with references to a larger paper... I'm not sure it exists) doesn't reference my theoretical framework at all. He must have thrown it in -- maybe because he saw me there?

Breena Ronan said...

I bet the person doesn't even realize that s/he did it. I agree with timna.