Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
One of the fundamental aspects of academic research is publishing. And it is the author’s responsibility to make things “relatively” easy for the reviewer. Aside from a terribly written paper, there’s nothing worse than referring to a figure/setup/design in the text that’s not there.
For example, I recently reviewed a paper where the authors described the design of a system and adjustments to an overall schematic, yet show no figure. Believe me, it definitely needed a figure. After trolling through two references, I managed to find said schematic but correlating the changes to the original was a pain. How hard would it have been to say “the extra widget here allows for more travel and this do-hickey’s placement was adjusted from a previous design [ref]. The updated schematic can be seen in Figure X”. That makes life a lot simpler for the
reader reviewer. (Remember, no one’s going to read it if it doesn’t get past review…)
In this particular case, it was even more frustrating because the author (from their Scopus record) has numerous publications in reputable journals. If this was a graduate student working on their first publication, a reviewer like me might be a little bit more lenient. But from a seasoned author who presumably does reviews of their own, that kind of sloppiness is unacceptable.
I guess the one good thing about performing reviews is you get to vent, that is until things become transparent between authors and reviewers, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Five months doesn’t seem like a long time but it is an eternity when you’re waiting to start a new position. At the same time, five months doesn’t seem long enough to prepare for everything that must be done. So why not blog about it?
The GEARS blog is about life as a PhD student transitioning to a young tenure track faculty member in engineering. Since there is time to spare before the big move, this blog will provide a real-time account of the preparation leading up to the start of the position. Afterwards, it’ll be a place to share insights into engineering academia and the hurdles of trying to get tenure.
If you’re a fellow faculty member reading this and you’re pulling your hair out because I did something stupid, please let me know. Any advice is appreciated. If you’re a grad student or postdoc reading this, hopefully it shed some light on what goes on during the trials of a tenure track position.