Should I publish research I did while moonlighting?
March 22, 2010 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Should I publish research I did while moonlighting?

I have the option to be a coauthor on an academic research article. I have a day job at a large tech company and did the technical research work during the evenings as a paid consultant for university researchers. The company I work at allows this type of moonlighting. However, if my employer finds out I've been doing this research, they might think I'm getting distracted from my day job (my sense is that while they allow moonlighting, they aren't thrilled when employees dedicate significant time outside the company).

My main motivation for putting my name on the research is to bolster my professional resume. It also might come in handy at some point down the road to have published research.

Does it sound like it's worth it?

(Anonymous because some colleagues are on MeFi and could identify me from my profile.)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Does your employer have any reason to believe that you're distracted from your day job?

If not, then I say go for it. Particularly if it's officially allowed.
posted by handee at 6:16 AM on March 22, 2010


Assuming you're doing fine at work I doubt this would be seen as anything other than broadening your experiences and increasing skills, both of which are a plus.

Even if you're not doing all that well at work this is a chance to move in the right direction, to a career that better suits your interests. Heck, if your large tech company is anything like my large tech company (which I've worked at for well over a decade), this may even open up opportunities internally.
posted by GoldenShackles at 6:23 AM on March 22, 2010

If they allow moonlighting, then they allow moonlighting. You might want to hedge your bets by asking for an evaluation -- informal, but on the record -- from your immediate supervisor. Then, when someone takes a swing at you, then you can say, "Well, my boss says I'm doing an A+ job, as of March 22nd, and all the work was done before that, so it must not have been too much of an issue."
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 AM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I came in to say the same as Etrigan. If you're fairly confident that your boss is happy with your performance, arrange a formal review to get this positive assessment in writing, then publish. If anyone suggests that you'd been distracted, you can point to your boss' written statement that (s)he was happy with your work output during that time.
posted by metaBugs at 7:00 AM on March 22, 2010

I asked a similar question here a few years ago, and got some good advice in that thread. Unless you have a clause in your employment agreement that says you can't moonlight, I don't see a problem with it, though.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:10 AM on March 22, 2010

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