I am visiting Prof. M. Whilhelm’s lab here in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology since May 15 until May 22 to be trained of FT-rheology technique. The information of the first two days was rich and I just had time to write a summary in Chinese.
I feel quite at home in Germany. The food here is very similar to what I can eat in a typical western restaurant in Guangzhou. Nowadays the food culture is quite globalized among big cities I guess. And I get on well with the group members.
In the first two days several students there introduced what they did to me whenever they had time. And the most helpful discussion was with Kathrin who is researching rheology. I also had a much deeper discussion with another student Deepak who is currently focus on the rheology of polymer/carbon nanotubes composite. We found common interest in the relationship of percolation threshold with the LAOS phenomena. And I also learned useful way of thinking when it comes to developing new measuring parameters. It is somewhat unexpected that I even found common interest with students doing synthesis. Alicia is now working with PS-PLLA copolymers, and I worked on PEO-PLLA copolymer during master years too (see my introduction page). So we went into very detailed discussion in the experimental tricks and problems.
I hope I did not expose too much above… I just want to thank them for sharing. But this is exactly the problem I want to talk about here: where should we draw the line between the secret and the share-able?
After a submission of a manuscript to a journal but before it’s accepted, it is a common practice that the manuscript be classified. This mean there is indeed a stage when the finding is secret to others. But what about cooperation? If I am asked about cooperation in future project, it of course means that we have to share ideas that is not published. What is the guideline here? And if there is not a clear deal whether we are going to cooperate or not, as a visiting student should I still share as much as possible? Otherwise why am I visiting?
Maybe the answer is not straight forward and delicate but I would like to know your experience, if any.