Over the years I have supplied information and advised agricultural departments and universities as well as National Farmers Union and other bodies on "non Native fauna" -specifically felids and canids (lynx, puma, etc).
I supplied a university in the South West of England with a great deal of information on local foxes as well as material I had unearthed after decades of research that they told me they had never heard of before. All fully referenced. Imagine how I felt when that university used the material as its own without crediting me -and I have the correspondence.
I worked with other "academics" and one after another stole or used material without crediting me.
So, when a professor at a South Wales university set up an exotic cat project I was dubious. But I was assured that academics "must" credit sources and that I had been treated very badly by previous associates. I decided that I could trust this person -I had regular phone conversations with her and exchanged data. Then it came to needing data and I lent books and documents as well as maps -all handed over and a promise that they would be returned.
Everything went well. My name is there on papers so I thought there could be no problems -I even defended the professor when her reputation was attacked online.
Then.....nothing. My phone messages were never returned, though I know she was present when someone took my first message. Letters and emails -unanswered. This meant that I was put in a very bad position as suddenly I was being told that the university, Swansea, had no such project and had never heard of me and that I should not state that I worked with the said university.
I could -badly- put up with the betrayal of trust and all the hard work I had put into assisting the project because I realised that I had been foolish in trusting an academic again. What really hurt is that all of my original notes, maps that were handed over were gone. I had no copies. And, even worse, some rare and near impossible to find books (some will set you back £70 a copy now) were never returned.
So, when I was recently contacted by a mammalogist who wanted me to assist in a fox project I made it clear that I would not -and I explained why not.
It did take a very long time to get over the betrayal and, since I incorporated findings made jointly with the Exotic Cat Project into my Red Paper: Felids that project had to be scrapped. It will never appear because a lot of the Ms notes were with the research assistant.
So, if -if- you ever get contacted to assist or work with a university make sure EVERYTHING is agreed in writing. Academics are not to be trusted.