Warning: astonishingly trivial
Three weeks ago I showed you my Journal Life List, and I invented the Journal Diversity Index (J/P, where my P papers have appeared in J different journals). A lot of you liked that and calculated your own JDIs, and I don’t know that we learned anything profound, but it was fun and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But I can never leave well enough alone. Continue reading
Image: Coins by KMR Photography CC BY 2.0
Reviewers, we all tell each other to remember, are unpaid. Sometimes we’re being scandalized about it, as in “Megapublisher X is making unconscionable profits on the back of unpaid reviewers”. Other times we’re being laudatory, as in “We should be grateful to reviewers for all the help they give us, since they’re working for us without pay”. I’ve said versions of the latter many times: for example, in The Scientist’s Guide to Writing, in this older post, and more recently and more explicitly in this post. But the thing is, it (mostly) isn’t true. We should probably stop saying it. Continue reading
Image: © (claimed) Terrance Heath, CC BY-NC 2.0
“How good a manuscript”, I’m sometimes asked, “is good enough to submit”? It’s a natural enough question. A manuscript heading for peer review isn’t the finished product. It’s virtually certain that reviewers will ask for changes, often very substantial ones – so why waste time perfecting material that’s going to end up in the wastebasket anyway? Continue reading
Image: Idea by Alexas_Fotos, CC-0, via pixabay.com
This is a guest post by Quinn Webber, a 2nd-year PhD student at Memorial University (MUN) in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Quinn is an avid science blog-reader and has begun writing for the MUN Graduate Studies blog. His post there on the origin of ideas struck a chord with me, and I asked him if he would adapt it for Scientist Sees Squirrel.
As a 2nd-year PhD student, I seem to spend most of my time coming up with ideas and plans for thesis chapters. As of now, the plan is for five chapters: a conceptual review that integrates the ideas underlying the rest of my thesis (currently in revision), followed by four ‘data’ chapters. Some of the ideas that make up these chapters have been rattling around in my brain for a few years, while others were conceptualized and refined in recent months after reading new literature and chatting with colleagues, lab-mates, and my supervisor. It’s the process of conceptualizing and acting on ideas that I’m interested in and excited about. Ideas become the blueprint that guide data collection, analysis, and ultimately the thesis or manuscript. Continue reading
Image: Scrabble tiles by Wokandapix via pixabay.com, released to public domain.
Warning: a little saccharine.
My mother, no doubt like yours, was right about a lot of things (although she was wrong about some other things). One thing she was really, really right about was the importance, and the power, of saying “thanks”.
I know, that seems trivial; but we sometimes forget. This crossed my radar recently because I saw a tweet exhorting people to thank reviewers and editors (that is, members of journal editorial boards) who had worked, unpaid, with their manuscripts. A reply* expressed surprise that journal editors might be unpaid (and therefore, implicitly, deserving of thanks). I had several reactions to all this.
First: some people might think “why should I thank those power-wielding career-destroying gatekeeping mean people”? I plead guilty to having this thought myself, occasionally and temporarily. Continue reading
I enjoy watching birds, but I don’t keep a life list. I don’t keep a life list for anything, really, which might surprise people who know how data-nerdy I am. The exception: the journals I’ve published in. I don’t really know why I track this, but for some reason I find it fun. (To be honest, I’m kind of proud of it and I celebrate each new addition, but I can’t tell you why and I have a sneaking suspicion that I shouldn’t*).
So here’s my list as of today: Continue reading