Save my career
After graduating (2013) I delivered two papers at postgraduate conferences on some research ideas that I was considering for PhD.
I posted the talks on the "Facebook for academics" website: academia.edu.
Unfortunately, I forgot to include my full bibliography and footnotes with these papers as the work was self-posted and I'd forgotten to attach tte handout from the talk.
Before Christmas I received a solicitors letter threatening court action from a couple of authors whose book should have been on my reference list.
In response to the couples demands, I have apologised to these authors and removed the offending papers from the Internet entirely leaving public apologies in place. I have also posted a public apology on my blog at the couples behest. As well as notifying my current university of this mistake I made before my postgraduate studies. Furthermore I have signed various statements stating that I will endeavour to cite them in the future should I reference their work.
However there is one demand that I cannot fulfill without your help.
In order to avoid court proceedings I have to pay half the legal expenses accrued by the authors in producing their solicitors letter. I have to pay three installments of £600 in January, February, and March of 2017 to a total of £1800.
AsI have informed these authors, and as many of you will know, I live on Disability Benefits. Any spare money goes toward ny car so that I am not house-bound, or my PhD so that I can hopefully work as a researcher in the future (a career where my illnesses won't hold me back). As such there is simply no way I can afford these payments alone.
If I don't pay them I will be faced with court proceedings and any hope of a life off of benefits will be ruined by the damage this simple mistake will do to my career as an academic.
I have freely admitted that I have made this mistake and I have apologised. But I don't believe that an error made by an inexperienced student should destroy any hope of a normal working life for me. As such I am asking for my friends and family to please save my future career by donating anything they can to help me pay this cost.
Update: I have received a private donation of £200 from a dear friend and so have lowered the original total to reflect this . Thanks again to those who have donated so far, your support means the world to me xx
With regard to my PhD - I am having to change my thesis topic which means re-sitting my second year and dismissing my first years research. So I will be able to finish but have wasted the past / first two years of it which will obviously delay my career.
As long as they don't increase the amount (which I wouldn't put past them) we have done fantastically well, you have given much more than I ever hoped!