What's in your back pocket?

(by odyssey) Apr 20 2015

In academic circles it's common to hear junior folks on the TT to be advised to have a back up plan in their back pocket. You know, just in case. Not that they'll need it of course. But it's good to have one. Right?

What about the tenured/not-so-junior?


21 responses so far

Not even self-cites?!?!?

(by odyssey) Apr 13 2015

An interesting study of publications in cardiovascular journals is coming out soon in the journal Circulation. The abstract seems to tell the story. In the decade 1997-2007 15.6% of the publications had zero citations after five years. Not even self-cites. 46.0% were considered "poorly cited" (defined as having ≤5 cites).

Is there any reason to believe these numbers wouldn't apply to all biomedical science beyond "my sub-field is special"?

7 responses so far


(by odyssey) Mar 05 2015

This isn't just about those who are mid-career PI's now. These are issues those that follow will inherit.

Unless we do something to fix the system.


2 responses so far


(by odyssey) Mar 04 2015

I don't care who you are. Grad student or Nobelist. In presentations, clarity trumps quantity, and often even quality, of data.

Every. Single. Time.


3 responses so far


(by odyssey) Jan 26 2015

If you're publishing multiple (closely-related or not) reviews per year, you're doing it wrong.


8 responses so far

Sub-sub-field accepting bloc

(by odyssey) Jan 06 2015

I have been on the editorial board of a middling journal (IF ~4) for some years now. I get sent a lot of the manuscripts that are in my sub-sub-field. My job is to obtain reviews and make a decision as to the fate of each of these manuscripts. It's become apparent to me that there is a group of reviewers who all display the same phenotype when it comes to their reviews. They all i) are quick to agree to review manuscripts in our common sub-sub-field, ii) submit their reviews on time, and iii) will recommend acceptance or minor revisions for all manuscripts. All.

This journal rejects ~70% of all submissions.* ~40% are desk rejects so ~50% of all manuscripts sent out for review are rejected.

Odd, yes?

Did I mention that this bloc of reviewers are all strongly linked to one particular well-known member of our sub-sub-field? Former trainees, co-authors etc. Given that pretty much none of the manuscripts they've reviewed for me in the past have authors from within the group, I doubt this is a organized ring of shady reviewers. In fact, having interacted with some of them I suspect this is more a misguided** attempt to raise the profile of the sub-sub-field promoted by Dr. Well-Known.

I don't use these reviewers anymore.



* Yes, there really is that much crap being submitted even to middling journals.

** "Misguided" is somewhat euphemistic.

12 responses so far

Why Fund Basic Research

(by odyssey) Dec 09 2014

One response so far


(by odyssey) Dec 09 2014

You know how some publisher's web sites let you download a pdf of a paper with supplementary material included (usually after more clicks than necessary)? And of course others don't? Why isn't the combined paper + supplementary material the default?*



* Let's set aside the asinine nature of supplementary material for the sake of this discussion.

11 responses so far

Twelve (Sporadic) Months of Odyssey (2014)

(by odyssey) Dec 05 2014

Following DrugMonkey's lead on this meme...

It's been a fairly sparse year for the blogging here. Life and all that. But here's what I have:

January: Over the years I've been involved in quite a few collaborations of various sorts.

February: So PLoS has this new data sharing policy.

March: A number of recent happenings (to name just two the PLoS data sharing mandate and tweets that led to @MyTChondria's guest post over at DrugMonkey's joint) have got me thinking...

April: NSF is big on promoting diversity.

May: Nada. Zip. Nothing blogged.

June: People who drive in the left lane on the highway at or below the speed of people driving in the right lane.

July: There's a lot of advice that can be given on surviving your tenure track years.

August: When writing a manuscript you should be writing for the audience you want to reach.

September: Nada. Zip. Nothing blogged.

October: I'm sure many of you are quite aware of the ongoing kerfuffle surrounding the ASBMB's president and his recent comments.

November: NSF's review process determines which research has the greatest potential.

December: By special request from Twitter's favorite kitten...


2 responses so far

Everybody Hates You: Holidays in Academia Edition

(by odyssey) Dec 03 2014

By special request from Twitter's favorite kitten...

So, what do you all hate about the holidays in academia?

The kitten can get us started:


47 responses so far

Older posts »