May 14
12:43 PM

Student writers try to keep their stuff off the Web

An interesting tidbit from the Information Technology section of the Chronicle today about grad students at West Virginia University worrying about their work finding its way to the web.

For now, they submit paper copies of their works.  But next fall, the school wants students to submit their works electronically and make them publicly available after five years.

The students in this case are grad students in creative writing, who are hoping that the theses they are submitting will someday be published and make them millions.  While the same kind of pecuniary award isn’t likely for law student research papers, the possibility exists that you could strike on a novel legal theory or angle that ignites the next firestorm of academic debate.  You wouldn’t want somebody to steal your thunder, would you?

As the article states, "it’s hard enough to get published without this sort of handicap."

This is another wrinkle in the march of technology in terms of academic scholarship to watch and think about.  Read more on the subject here.

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