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Review season May 7, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, papers, research, younger son.
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Both Mike and I have been getting requests to review papers, and this has led to a lot of foul language around the house…along with frequent reminders from the younger son that our language is inappropriate.

It’s really hard to restrain yourself, however.  As we’re sitting at the dining room table, occasionally one of us will turn our laptop toward the other and ask something like, “What does this look like to you?” or, “What do you think this means?” or, “What the hell were they thinking?”

I have to admit that I appreciate having a second pair of eyes to catch the things that I miss.  I’m sure the authors of the papers we’re reviewing probably will not appreciate it.  Not only do they have the third reviewer going over their papers, they have two of them.  I hope this will result in double the hair pulling and teeth gnashing on their end…because it sure has for us.

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Comments»

1. Jen - May 8, 2012

The graduate class I TA for just wrote reviews of a published paper (we assigned the same one to all students). Grading those has been both interesting and frustrating. In the first draft of the rubric, I wrote things like “the figure captions suck.” Our professor’s recommended strategy was to write down your first reactions, profanity included, and then revise to make it appropriate to send to the “editor.” The unfortunate conclusion, especially since the paper has already been published, was that it should have been rejected, or at the very least required major revisions.

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mareserinitatis - May 10, 2012

I guess that’s why it’s nice to have someone to talk to about it. We sort of gripe about the problems and then I try to very diplomatically rephrase those thoughts into constructive criticism. 🙂

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2. NJS - May 8, 2012

That actually sounds fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of. J-man is in a related field, but not close enough that we can do all that much of that.

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mareserinitatis - May 10, 2012

It really is. It’s very nice to be able to talk about the stuff you’re working on and not have to sensor either because the other person doesn’t understand or aren’t interested.

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