[My Computational Complexity Web Log] When to Announce?
Suppose you have some partial solutions of a popular problem. At what point do you announce your results? If you announce your partial results you run the risk of someone else taking your ideas and solving the full problem and you won't get as much credit as you deserve. If you wait and try to extend the work yourself someone else might get the same results you already have and you'll lose or at best have to share the authorship.
If you are completely altruistic you should announce your progress as this will best advance science quickly. But as in the end you need to worry about your own publication record, particularly for a young researcher, the answer isn't so clear. Of course it depends on many factors including your belief that you or others could extend the work as well as when the next conference deadline occurs.
Oddly enough before the internet (in the eighties) such decisions were easier. You could write up a technical report to establish your result and you would have months before your work spread throughout the community. This gives you plenty of time to try and extend the work. The quick spread of information not only improves collaborative work as it does, but forces us to make decisions that we could avoid in the past.
Posted by Lance to My Computational Complexity Web Log at 8/6/2004 11:26:28 AM