Jump to content

Open source now, thesis/research later?


Recommended Posts

I've been working on a small project that I would like to eventually put on GitHub and write a few blog posts about. I have a feeling that the project could be a springboard for a Master's thesis, but I'm worried that if I open source it now, I won't be able to do any grad school work on it later. However, I feel like posting it now will help me gauge whether or not the project is actually useful or just a silly hobby. Plus, there's always the nagging desire to get something "on the street".

So, my question is: would posting the code and blogging about it now prevent me from using it as the foundation for a future Master's thesis? (or any research, for that matter)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It won't prevent you from publishing or researching it later, but you might get scooped. That is, if you really do have the kernel of a promising research idea, then someone else might see it, and do research on it now.

One way around this is to publish the basics as a technical report. Typically, you can register any technical document with your University library or a similar service. It gets an official registration number, and you retain copyright. Then post the tech report to an open-access archive like arXiv.org (this is free), which will result in it being disseminated throughout the scientific community.

Once you've done these things, make your GitHub project, and put it under a citation based licence, with a pointer to the tech report.

Now, if anyone wants to expand upon your work, they have to cite your tech report. If no one does this, you have a nice thesis topic waiting for you. If it turns out lots of people are interested in it, your tech report can get a large number of citations, which (if you market it appropriately), can be worth as much as a top conference paper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.