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  1. Kimberly Raab-Graham

    Innovative approaches to Journal Clubs?

    My students have been pressing me to start a new journal club at our Institution. I’ve been thinking of innovative ways to stimulate conversation and motivate students to think broadly. One of my colleagues (in my prior life) suggested that several students present a single figure from a paper they read that week. Another option is to set up the journal club as a “mini” debate to tackle controversies in a field. I’m interested in what others have done and what students think.
  2. For me, reading the literature always seems to be under-done. It is always on my to-do list; however, most weeks, it is neglected. Is this the same for you? How many papers do you read a week? How important do you think it is?
  3. Writing is an important part of any scientist’s career, and it’s particularly critical for academic scientists whose promotion depends on solid writing. Writing and publishing papers is “currency” of scholarship – peer-reviewed papers demonstrate our productivity, expertise, and contributions to our field. No one gets promoted without publications. Moreover, for those of us who write grants to get funding for our research – guess what? No one gets grants without the track record of publications. If writing is so critical, why do so many scientists spend more time on teaching and service than on writing and scholarship? Why do we put it off, waiting for a big chunk of time that we can devote to writing (that may never arrive)? Why do we complain about it so much? Moreover, when I poll groups of graduate students, postdocs and faculty, a sizeable portion claim to dislike writing – it’s tough to dislike something that is so vital to our success! So let’s learn to love writing, especially since we have to do so much of it. This open thread is a place where we can discuss the ins and outs of writing – sharing tips, encouragement and hard-won lessons. Ask questions, post writing hacks. And happy writing!
  4. I really never have considered this topic because authorship with my collaborators has always been done in a very civil way. I do not believe in my entire career that I have had problems with authorship and the order in which the names appear. Now I have met my match and really do not know exactly how to approach the collaborators. Two members of our research group are the principal investigators on a grant. We needed investigators with skills which we did not have to participate as members of the research team. These investigators agreed to be members of the research team.We were fortunate to obtain the grant and carried out all the planned protocols. We were very pleased with our results and now are sending abstracts to various conferences as well as submitting manuscripts for publications. Anyway the main issue is that our collaborators are putting the names of persons from their research team on abstracts and publications who did not participate one cents worth on the grant or obtaining results . Just wondering if any one has ever had a similar situation and how would you advice us to approach our collaborators so they remove the names of these persons without upsetting them ? We have tried to talking and in fact we thought we had authorship issues understood from day one. Thank you Jaadeja
  5. Hi all, I have had four advisors in my journey as a scientist through undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc experiences. Now, as I face the next step in my career, one in which I might become an advisor, I am thinking a good deal about my relationship with each of them. All of them without question are/were good scientists. I learned a tremendous amount from each of them, so I have had good scientific role models. However, perhaps with the exception of my undergraduate advisor, I did not consider any of them mentors or friends during the time I worked for them. My question to all of you is, Is this the norm? What do/did you consider your advisor(s)? If you are or have been an advisor, which of these do/did you strive to be? I wonder if there is some mutual exclusion among these roles. For example, I see a mentor as someone who puts the mentee’s interest above his or her own. Is this incompatible with being a hard-driven scientist who is well published and funded? As always, I look forward to your replies. Cheers, cw14 P.S. As I created this post, I see that there are a few interesting posts related to the topic: Don’t Just Sink or Swim: Mentor Intentionally Moving from Adviser to Mentor Your Science Avengers: How to Assemble Your Mentoring Team
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