Open source dissertation

Three cheers for Brent Yorgey! He’s finishing up his dissertation, and he’s posting drafts online, including a GitHub repo of the source.

Cheer 1: He’s not being secretive, fearing that someone will scoop his results. There have been a few instances of one academic scooping another’s research, but these are rare and probably not worth worrying about. Besides, a public GitHub repo is a pretty good way to prove your priority.

Cheer 2: Rather than being afraid someone will find an error, he’s inviting a world-wide audience to look for errors.

Cheer 3: He’s writing a dissertation that someone might actually want to read! That’s not the fastest route to a degree. It’s even actively discouraged in some circles. But it’s generous and great experience.

4 thoughts on “Open source dissertation

  1. Fourth cheer: He openly acknowledges Jesus Christ as preeminent (in Greek), not fearing the shaming that will certainly come.

  2. A good example! I might do it similarly when I’ll be doing my bachelor thesis the next year.

  3. Folks who worry about scooping of results and openness are making a logical fallacy (not sure exactly which one…). Being public about what you are working on with your name attached may make it less likely for someone to scoop results. However, I’m not sure what this radical public-facing research means for blind review. If the research is too well known, review would not be truly blind.

  4. Bob The Programmer

    Another thing, if you publish something, you are demonstrating prior art and making it a little harder for someone else to patent, to your detriment.

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