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Survival Blog for Scientists

How to become a leading scientist

Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:53:47 +0000


You will need a GREEN laser pointer

Tue, 10 Nov 2015 20:09:18 +0000

Your own laptop When you give a presentation with slides you will either use your own notebook or some computer supplied by the organizers of the meeting. In the latter case there are several drawbacks: (i) the organization will have your presentation as a file and they can do with that file whatever they like, […]

Simultaneous editing of files

Mon, 09 Nov 2015 10:45:06 +0000

Progress In a post two years ago I discussed how difficult it was to find good tools for editing scientific texts by multiple authors simultaneously.  As there is a great demand for this functionality it does not come to a surprise that the situation has improved considerably. I will describe two solutions here that in […]

Missed references

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 10:52:16 +0000

As a scientist reading a substantial amount of papers I regularly read articles with inadequate referencing. Obviously some papers contain too many self-citations, however my main concern is about missed references. Why are the (co-)authors missing references to crucial and important work of others or, more worrisome on a personal level, to my own work? […]

Using professional editing services

Sat, 05 Oct 2013 20:55:26 +0000

Communicating in a language that is not your mother tongue is a handicap. For Germans and Dutch people speaking and writing acceptable English can be achieved after a few years of school. For people from Japan or from China this is a nightmare. But scientists from these countries have to do it if they want […]

Failure of Microsoft’s Web Apps: Working simultaneously on documents

Sat, 05 Oct 2013 19:31:20 +0000

I have a dislike of Microsoft. That feeling is based on over twenty years of experience with working with their operating systems, their office applications and their compilers. But recently the company is starting to impress me and the potential of their Web Apps is one of the reasons of my mellowing. Their Word Web […]

Maximizing reusability of presentation slides

Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:55:33 +0000

Science is about competition, about collaboration and about communication, to mention a few keywords dominating the life of a scientist. In this post I will discuss a matter relating to collaboration and communication: sharing of slides. Active scientists spend a large fraction – if not a major – fraction of their time to either listening […]

A close encounter with Diederik Stapel and his act of fraud

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 21:34:20 +0000

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, a staff writer at Science magazine, has written an elegant article in the New York Times about the Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel. The scientific misconduct of Stapel, including fabrication of data for at least 30 publications, outraged the scientific community a couple of years ago. At that time Stapel was the dean of the social […]

Peer review: don’t let the journals handle it?

Sun, 10 Mar 2013 17:39:11 +0000

Peer review is central to science. But the system is functioning far from perfectly. One issue is that it is difficult to find good reviewers. This was already discussed five years ago on this blog and it was suggested that paying reviewers or making somehow sure that reviewers receive public credit for their efforts might […]

How to choose your key publications?

Sat, 09 Feb 2013 08:59:12 +0000

The scientific community keeps on finding new ways to facilitate to judge scientists. The old-fashioned way of reading her papers, listening to her talks,  interviewing her for more than an hour, reading recommendation letters, and consulting colleagues personally takes way too much time. List of Output becoming a book Given the quality and ease of […]

Inviting co-authors

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 19:57:06 +0000

A problem I often encounter is deciding who to invite as co-authors. On one hand, you want to show appreciation to the people that helped you in the process of obtaining your results. On the other hand, generously adding authors will dilute the contribution of the people that made the largest contribution. In this post […]