Friday, 30 March 2012

PhD week 4: Publications and World Cups

Something exciting arrived in the university library this week. And no, it wasn't something geeky like a new book on weevils or phylogenetics. No, this was something other people could get excited about, and they sure did:
The Rugby World Cup
Yes indeed, that is the Web Ellis Trophy, the Rugby World Cup, of which New Zealand is currently the proud holder (not to crow about it though...).

There's a maxim in the academic world: "Publish or perish". Publication is essential for communicating the discoveries that you've made and the bit of the world that you've had a bit of insight into. There is also a lot of emphasis on using publications and the venues they're published in as a measure of your quality of the research you do and are carefully considered in hiring, firing, promoting and receiving grants. Publications are important.

They also take up a lot of time. Most of this week was spent dealing with various aspects of the publication process; from finishing and submitting a manuscript dealing some of my own research from before starting this PhD, to discussing our response to the reviews of a second manuscript on which I am a coauthor, to reviewing a third at the request of a publisher to give my opinion on how the paper may be improved before publication. There's a fourth manuscript that I need to have a look at for another journal that is lying on my desk, and which I won't get around to this week too.

While it occasionally feels like a waste of time, this process is what keeps science going. And with everybody doing their bit of the work, it gets spread fairly well. So, although this week was taken up with this aspect of doing science, I should be able to spend the next few weeks looking at some weevils, and doing some lab work which will get me going towards the next publication.

Garonna AP, Dole SA, Saracino A, Mazzoleni S, Cristinzio G. 2012. First record of the black twig borer Xylosandrus compactus (Eichoff) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) from Europe. Zootaxa 3251: 64–68

Fletcher AC, Bourne PE. 2012. Ten Simple Rules for Starting a Company. PLoS Computational Biology 8(3): e1002439.

Wilkins JS. 2009. Defining Species. A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today. New York: Peter Lang

McCulloch D. 2010. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years London: Penguin

Kirkpatrick R. 2009. Beyond the Wall of Time. Sydney: Voyager

Psalms 28–32

National Geographic Music

Dropkick Murphys—I'm Shipping Up to Boston

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1

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