Academic Networking: on the Network and beyond

March 31, 2009

Phil Agre‘s  Networking on the Network contains plenty of great advice on academic networking — building a net of colleagues and collaborators.  See also interesting related materials here, here, here and here. As for collaboration per se,  see the links in my post on writing. See also this post at SBS on the conference networking.

Update: An interesting article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. See also this post on Academia 101.

Is there an academic counterpart for social networks like the Facebook? Yes. I have found  Academia.edu, and there is plenty of sites of this kind (the Nature Network is just another example, and the Researchgate is yet another)

Update 2: see my comment exchange (1 2 3 4 5 6) with Bee (her responses are right under my comments except for #6) at the Backreaction blog regarding the academic networking.

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Advice for the (Would-Be) Graduate Students

March 28, 2009

A great collection of advice and links on the subject is here. For the (prospective) graduate students in mathematics, Terence Tao provides excellent advice here, and there is a whole new blog on the subject. As for the physics students, go here and here. See also my earlier posts, especially here and here. Some interesting material can be also found here and here.

Update (via ZapperZ blog): More advice from the Science Careers: here, here, and here.

Update 2: excellent advice for the graduate students in math is available at the Secret Blogging Seminar, here and here.

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Do You Have to Be a Genius to Do Great Science?

March 27, 2009

Apparently the jury is still out on this issue but the links below provide some encouragement:

Update: I have just found an interesting follow-up on the Cult of Genius post, The Cult of Theory, at Chad Orzel’s blog.

Update 2: an interesting recent discussion at the Backreaction blog.

Update 3: see this post by Peter Turney and this article

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How to Maximize Citations

March 23, 2009

I have just found some great advice on how to boost your citation count, i.e., get more citations for your publications (which may, as you well know, increase your visibility in the science world and your chances of getting tenure) . An interesting discussion of the so-called Matthew effect in science (to start, see the classical papers by Robert K. Merton here, here, and here) and its influence on the citation patterns can be found here.

Update: I also found some interesting tips on how to get your papers cited here and here.

As for the general advice on writing research papers, see excellent writing tips from the blog of Terence Tao.

Update 2: making your work available online (e.g. at the arXiv; see this post of Terence Tao for further details) can significantly increase its chances to be cited (but be careful with the copyright issues when making available the work you have already published).

Update 3: Also, quite obviously, publishing your paper in a high-impact journal may increase its chances of getting cited. But submitting your papers to the journals perceived as prestigious has plenty of caveats — see e.g. this post by Terence Tao and this post by Massimo.

Update 4: see this post about the citation trading at ectropy.info

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How to Succeed in Science

March 22, 2009

I have recently come across two papers on the subject (addressed primarily to the biomedical scientists but mostly of general interest too) by Jonathan Yewdell in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology: here and here.

As usual (cf. e.g. this discussion), this advice should be taken cum grano salis.

More related advice can be found in the other posts on this blog.  I especially recommend the talk You and Your Research by Richard Hamming, and the advice from Terence TaoJames D. Watson,  and Steven Weinberg. See also advice from E. W. Dijkstra and J.H. Conway

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Ten simple rules: career advice from P.E. Bourne et al.

March 16, 2009

Ten Simple Rules for

The above articles are also available as a single collection (which however does not seem to include the correction mentioned above).

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What They Don’t Teach You in Graduate School

March 16, 2009

This is a series of four articles at Inside Higher Ed by David E. Drew and Paul Gray:

Part I Part II Part III Part IV

These authors have also recently published a book on the subject but I haven’t got it yet.

However, I’ve just found a presentation which appears to be a nice summary of the book (important note: the link in this paragraph works even though Snapshots says it doesn’t!).

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Michael Nielsen: Principles of Effective Research

March 12, 2009

Michael Nielsen: Principles of Effective Research

See also his blog for more career advice.

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Career Advice from the Nobel Prize Winners

March 10, 2009

S. WeinbergScientist: Four golden lessons

R.P. FeynmanA Letter to a Former Student

(more advice from R.P.F. can be found in the book Feynman’s Rainbow by Leonard Mlodinow)  

J.D. WatsonSucceeding in Science: Some Rules of Thumb

(see also his book Avoid Boring People)

A. CiechanoverNuggets of Career Advice

The above materials make for an interesting comparison with the advice from the Fields medal winner Terence Tao.

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How to Do Great Science: You and Your Research by Richard Hamming

March 10, 2009

Richard Hamming in his famous talk You and Your Research offers superb advice on how to do great science.

Update (via Stephen Kinsella):  This talk was also recently published here, so now one has an official reference to cite.

Update 2 (via the Unruled Notebook): the videos of a more recent version of this talk given by Hamming himself in the 90s are available here.

Further advice can be found in the other posts on this blog, e.g. here and here. Also, there are two recent  followup papers (On the Process of Becoming a Great Scientist and Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming) that could be of  some interest.

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