Publications in Grad School

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by gjbarord, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Everyone,

    I was wondering what thoughts were out there about number of publications while one is pursuing a PhD. I have had some professors tell us that PhD students should publishing 5 papers a year while they are in school and I have had others that did not stress that number at all but rather put more emphasis on the thesis. I already have my own plans regarding "side projects" not involving my thesis work... I was just curious what other views are out there.

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  2. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    It depends partly on your goal after earning the degree. To gain a top flight postdoc, you should have at least a few papers in solid journals. Going for an assistant professorship at a major university with no or a year or two postdoc, I would say 6-10 solid papers with at least a couple in major journals. Also, watch the authorship. You need to have several first author papers and a few sole authored papers helps. (However, the world of collaboration and multi-authored papers is changing. It is no longer a strike against you to have a significant proportion of your papers to be multi-authored.)

    Also, be careful to avoid the symposium chapter trap. Senior graduate students and postdocs frequently are invited to participate in numerous symposia, the proceedings of which are published - often without solid peer review. Turning out a 15 page review chapter can eat up a lot of time, but they don't count as much as good, peer reviewed research papers.

    Here at Berkeley, PhD students often plan their dissertations so that each chapter is a paper ready to be submitted and there no longer is a problem with submitting the papers for publication prior to submitting the thesis. However, we don't go as far as some universities that allow you to "bundle" four or five published papers together and call it a thesis.

    Roy
     
  3. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    We didn't have a set number as such and I think our profs preferred us to concentrate on thesis work. It was OK however to write up your chapters as papers and then submit them (I have been VERY slack in this regard!) to the appropriate journal. Like Roy says avoid the symposium write up unless it's going to be in a peer reviewed journal!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Sad that the official journals are so hard for nonacademics to acquire though. I am trying to locate a 20 page article published by Roger Hanlon in 1988 and the "official" journal replied that they don't keep copies available that far back. They suggested that I try Google Books (which is where I found them as the publisher in the first place :roll:).
     
  5. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes D, it is strange that science is only readily available to other scientists. It is kind of like that old riddle about that tree falling in the woods. If a major breakthrough is made but the world does not know about it, then was a breakthrough actually made? I have not been to a public library in a long time. I wonder if any of them have access to these journal databases?

    I am sure you are already aware of Drum and Croaker, the aquarium journal which is available for everyone but considered gray literature because it is not peer-reviewed. It does have some very good articles and is being cited in the primary literature more often.

    What article are you looking for?

    Greg
     
  6. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the info Roy and Jean! I did not know that symposia write-ups were viewed like that but it makes sense. The way I envision my thesis turning out is in chapter form that builds from the previous chapter and each publishable in its own form in some of the 'major' journals, about 3-4 chapters depending on what data I am able to collect. And I think the papers will give a great overall picture of what I set out to do and all be relevant to each other. After that, I am planning on doing some papers that hit some target journals and also some broad high impact journals equally.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Greg
     
  7. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    It's definitely hard to track down older papers but at least new ones are generally available on pdf. Try searching Google Scholar first with filetype pdf. If this doesn't immediately lead you to a free version of the pdf, try the "all versions" link underneath/to the right, or try searching the title in quotes on the full web (not just scholar). If these don't work then send an email to the lead author- they can generally send a pdf back. Back in the day researchers would order hard-copy reprints, and mail these out upon request but most of these have run out by now for older papers, but a scan of the original paper is generally available somewhere.
     
  8. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Good advice. Google scholar is really great for that.

    Greg
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, I started with Google scholar and I find a ton of references to one of the papers (including sitings by Mucktopus :>). The two Hanlon papers I would dearly like to have are:

    Hanlon RT (1988) Behavioral and body patterning characters useful in taxonomy and field identification of Cephalopods. Malacologia 29: 247–266

    Hanlon RT, Wolterding MR (1989) Behavior, body patterning, growth and life history of Octopus briareus cultured in the laboratory. American Malacological Bulletin 7: 21–46

    I wrote American Malacological and got a quick but negative response, "I am sorry but we do not maintain a library of back issues of AMB that far back". I did not try Malacologia. If I had ever communicated with Roger, I would email but feel that I would be intruding since this is hobbyist interest (albeit there are three of us expecting hatchlings that could use the information in the second paper :grin:)
     
  10. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I will look through my library when I get to the office and also do a search on our school library database for you.

    Greg
     
  11. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey D,

    I found the papers in hard copy form at two different colleges, Brooklyn College where I am at and also at Queens College. I did not bring any cash with me today so cannot make any copies of it to scan for you today. I will be back in the lab on Thursday so I should be able to get you at least one of the papers, the first one you listed. I have emailed Roger a few times so if I am unsuccessful I will go ahead and send an email his way. I would like to read the papers as well.

    Greg
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Greg,

    I usually hesitate to ask for help when I think I should be able to find something myself so I am really glad you opened this thread. I suspect anything before 2000ish may be difficult to find outside an acedemic environment.

    Mucktopus has offered to make copies of her hard copies for me :grin: (I guess PDF's were not popular in 1989 since the format was not available until 1993 :roll:) From her quick note, it sounds like the one on O.brieareus will be both useful for all three of us with eggs as well as welcomed species history information.

    Does anyone know what would be needed to post these honestly if I could scan and convert them to a PDF?
     
  13. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    D- do you live near a state university? The library at UM where I go is open to the public, maybe ones near you are also. I check those articles, the second one is on my campus in hard copy. The first article is at two other UM sites which are both 2 hours away, but I'm going to one of them in two weeks anyway. It sounds like Greg has these covered for you, but let me know if you are looking for anything else. As far as older articles, some journals are scanning their older issues into pdf form.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks esquid, Muctopus was fast in responding :grin: and has both articles (and a special interest third bonus) in her reference pile and has promised to snail mail them to me (I am envisioning hard labor payback for the copy time). Since these are quite dated, but relavent to our briareus keepers and to determining species I am wondering if there is an appropriate way to make them available to our octo keepers.

    To answer your question, I live 75-100 miles from three state universities but have never investigated what they might have available through their libraries. My alma mater is least likely to have the kind of articles I would want but being a twice graduating alumna, I might have something better than general public access (or not :roll:). The University of GA, however has a large veterinary school so it has possibilities that I need to examine.
     

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