Data stream

January 21, 2016

Yes, I realize the science these days is super collaborative and needs expensive tools, models and techniques to be cool.


Strategically as a lab, you need to have a bread and butter data stream that you produce in house. Data that you generate, interpret, understand and publish without the input of any other lab groups. Data that is, in and of itself, capable of generating publications that meet at least the lower bound expectations of your department, subfield and whomever else is evaluating you.

This may not be the same thing over the long haul, either. Interests change. But the thing that never changes is that nobody is going to find your publication goals, demands or needs as critical as you do. And in this game, not publishing is simply not an option.

So figure out your data stream and protect it.


January 21, 2016

January is a great time to look at yourself in the mirror and ask what your plan is for improving your record of publication.

What are your usual hurdles that get in the way? What are the current hurdles?

What works to get you moving?

My biggest problem is me.

We’re at the point in my lab where available data are not really the issue, we have many dishes cooking along in parallel at most times. Something is always ready or close to being ready to serve up.

The problem is almost always the wandering of my attention and my energy to kick something over the final step to submission.

The game I have taken to playing with myself is to see how long I can go with at least one manuscript under review. I made it something like 14 mo a few years ago. Of course I then promptly fell into another extended dry spell but….

The other game I play with myself is to see how many manuscripts we can have under review simultaneously. That is, of course, much more subject to the ebb and flow of project maturation and the review process. But if we happen to have a few stacking up, sure I’ll use the extra motivation to keep my attention pegged to finishing a draft.

When all else fails there is always “We need this published in order to help get this next grant funded, aiieeeee!”