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Sorry this is not the most eloquently worded question, and I admit is loaded, but I am hoping some useful meta answer could come from it.

I just noticed this hot meta topic The MIT License – Clarity on Using Code on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange and thought it was useful to just bring it as a question on this site.

As a few questions have asked a persons role as a programmer in terms of contribution, as well as questions about help on mathematical problems. Maybe this has already been answered in an actual question, but I thought I would ask here. Would the change of licenses on SE make any difference in how the use of code in research would warrant contribution.

I guess I am looking at this in a 'meta' way, in which code is similar to me as a mathematical notation of a problem, a sequence of steps in an experiment, or a specification of a gear reduction. Maybe I am interpreting it wrong, but when I look at code in MIT license, it is about contribution to 'public domain', which I view in academic terms as 'public knowledge'.

I would not cite something that is common knowledge in my field. I realize there may be a difference between public and common, but I still think there is an interesting difference when something becomes intellectual contribution, especially if the use is not from an original poster. For example, person A asks a question, person B answers with the intent their answer is completely public domain and contribution to the general knowledge without any attribution.

If person C finds this information and uses it to solve their own problem, does the fact of where they found this information change based on persons B intent?

migrated from academia.meta.stackexchange.com Dec 21 '15 at 16:26

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for academics and those enrolled in higher education.

  • I’m voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on the main site, unless I am totally misunderstanding it (in which case it should be clarified). – Wrzlprmft Dec 20 '15 at 11:18
  • @Wrzlprmft Sorry its not phrased well. I see it as a meta question because it has implications on how answers here are made in reference to other SE sites. There have been a few questions that ask about help from Math or SO SE sites. – user1938107 Dec 21 '15 at 5:40
  • If those other questions become obsolete, you can ask for updated answers or at least mark them to be before the license change. Also, “Does the MIT licence affect citing SE in academic writing?” sounds like a valid question for the main page. – Wrzlprmft Dec 21 '15 at 6:46
  • Moving this to the Stack Overflow meta site. This meta is for the Academia site, and I don't think you'll get any useful answers here. – eykanal Dec 21 '15 at 16:26
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    @eykanal I won't question the migration, but IMHO, discussing site-specific details of some network-wide concept could be done on the child meta. – yo' Dec 21 '15 at 16:36
  • @yo' - Maybe I'm missing something here, but when I read the question I didn't see how this was site-specific at all. Given the three comment up votes, I probably am missing something. – eykanal Dec 21 '15 at 21:06
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    @eykanal The question was asked in a specific context of Academia, so it's mostly interesting to people there. I understand that there's an overlap to other "academical" sites, but I'm not sure that it reaches the right audience here. The SE staff reads questions on child metas, too. – yo' Dec 21 '15 at 21:28

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