Sunday 19 April 2009

Ethics of blogging university papers?

Ever since Coturnix at A Blog Around the Clock wondered where all the good art historian blogs are, I've thought about sharing some of my own interpretations and analysis of art history.

Some papers I wrote in university may make for some interesting discussion and hopefully illumination; but is it ethical? I can remember the university held onto copies of the students' work so they could check future papers against plagiarism, but is there some ownership over these papers by the universities?

I put the question to Twitter last night, and thereby to Facebook. Tweet:
Anyone know an ethical reason not to use my old university essays as blog posts? Property of the university or my brain?

So far, I've received about a dozen responses, most clearly of the opinion that my brain owns the words, and as cautioned, to be sure to include citations. I thought I'd open the discussion up here on the blog for longer comments than 140 characters allow.

And if I do start posting portions or a series based on older essays - anyone interested in representations of the mysterious centres of thought in fin-de-siecle Symbolist painting?

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m said...

Hmmm... I'd never thought about this until you tweeted/facebooked the question... I know legally whatever you submit to the university is their property, but it's yours too, right? Although, I knew I was allowed to give copies of my dissertation to others even while it was still being graded, so I'm not sure if the rule applies to all work at all universities.

traumador said...

there'd have to have been a claim to your intellectual property in your student enrollment, from what i've experienced

a former work place has tried to claim i'm not allowed to use something i developed while working there, claiming they had the rights to everything i developed there, but i trumped this by challenging where in my contract did i sign my ownership away... which as it wasn't in the contract caused them to back right off... based on the star of my blog i'll let you guess which work place that was ;p )

Glendon Mellow said...

Mo, that's what I thought. That the university has some ownership. I've tried to find the mail of the professor, but there doesn't seem to be one I can track down.

Traumador, intellectual property is one of the more sticky issues out there, that's for sure! Glad you're your own ma--er, rex.

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