Intellectual property, as defined by the European Parliament Factsheet on Intellectual, industrial and commercial property, “encompasses […] inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and models and designations of origin, and artistic and literary property”.
In other words, it refers to any data you originally produce. It is a remarkably precious resource, primarily for its value in predictions and making decisions. For example, data gathered from a group of people’s communication and writing style can serve to filter those desirable for a certain position, like a function of an office or university program.
The way people use language is one of many predictive factors a college admissions officer can use, if we’re talking about application success rates.
The study was conducted by Gary Lavergne, James Pennebaker, Joey Frazee, David Beaver, and Cindy Chung, from the University of Texas, Austin.
Their data-driven approach to college success trends showed that using impersonal, concept-centric language in writing contributed to a higher GPA than using subjective, narrative-centric language. This trend was present throughout the academic career pathway, from admission, through grades, to graduation.
This is just a small example, but data in academia has enormous power and potential. Therefore it is imperative to properly protect one’s intellectual property in the realm of academic endeavor.
Know where your data is stored
In terms of intellectual property in the academic world, research papers, research proposals etc. obviously make up the bulk. The problem with keeping them safe is that they are rarely housed in a centralized manner.
That’s a natural consequence of the decentralized nature of research beyond the individual level. Even individual efforts, such as student research papers, are often housed with third parties like writing assistants.
On the level of institutions, data will shift and migrate to follow the interests and goals of different research teams, funding agencies, and every single individual among the student

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