Saturday, May 22, 2010


Candid Engineer points out something that I think all of us find as a challenge -- actually getting work out in the form of papers. I like to solve puzzles and understand the world around me. It's what drives me as a scientist.

On the other hand, it's a minority of results that are fun to write up and the publication process is always painful. So I, too, have to watch the tendency to learn the results and then move on. This is specially true if you take on a high risk project and the results are a bit disappointing.

My most recently submitted paper was analyzed 2 years ago and it took a lot of effort to clean it up until it could be submitted. Not a fun process.

But sticking with it is crucial. It's the only way to really let others know what you have done and really push science forward!


  1. Or as Crick put it if you don't you might as well have spent your time in the garden.

    More contemporary account but it more bluntly. Do it or lose your job.

  2. I prefer the Crick version, myself, but both are appropraite ways to sum up the situation.

  3. My previous comment appears to be post-beer but is in fact pre-coffee. Sorry for the barely comprehensible bollocks...

    Publish or Perish isn't a bad thing in my mind when you are taking public money. It's simply completing the job you are paid to do. I also regard it as unethical to sit on data the way some investigators seem happy to do.

  4. Sitting on data is very ethically questionable -- we get upset with drug companies for this and public researchers shouldn't be held to a different standard. I'm sympathetic if good faith efforts to publish have been made. But sitting on completed projects is not cool at all!!!