Questions tagged [etiquette]

The customary code of polite behavior amongst the academic world.

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65
votes
1answer
7k views

How should I phrase an important question that I need to ask a professor?

When needing to ask a professor about something important and potentially delicate, what is an appropriate way to phrase the question or write the email? Examples include: Requesting a ...
31
votes
3answers
11k views

Is my paper under review (or similar) for too long and if yes, how should I react?

I submitted a paper to a journal, and I suspect that it is handled too slowly. How can I decide whether my suspicion is correct? What handling times should I expect? Given some expected handling ...
120
votes
8answers
54k views

Is ignoring emails acceptable in academia?

As a grad student, I just find it tremendously frustrating when emails are ignored by faculty (both at my institution and at other places). Is this acceptable? I'd be content with a simple response ...
61
votes
9answers
68k views

Is it appropriate to buy a “thank you” gift for a PhD supervisor?

I am nearing the end of my PhD and I would quite like to buy a "thank you" gift for my supervisor (although, she's the socially awkward type who I'm sure will be greatly embarrassed to receive one). ...
45
votes
2answers
24k views

Etiquette on sending a thank you e-mail to respondents who gave me helpful information

Sometimes there are cases in a e-mail correspondence with academia staff (professors and bureaucrats) in which I don't know which is the best practice. I wonder if there is any best practice for the ...
59
votes
8answers
5k views

Should you conform to journal formatting requirements for the initial submission?

In my past experiences, I have almost never typeset my manuscripts according to the formats required by the journals to which I would like to submit. I leave my manuscripts as produced by the LaTeX ...
65
votes
10answers
5k views

Should academic papers necessarily carry a sober tone?

I was reading this paper titled "Optimal Symmetric Rendezvous Search on Three Locations." While talking about the history of search problems, the author mentions the following anecdote in passing. ...
12
votes
4answers
120k views

No response from Professor; how should I remind him about writing a recommendation for me?

I'm applying to a BS/MS program and I'm gathering recommendations. I'm an international student from China and I was transferred to my current college last year. Two weeks ago, I went to see my ...
54
votes
2answers
41k views

Whether and how to thank a girlfriend or boyfriend in the acknowledgements of thesis?

How is it received by the academia if someone thanks to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend in the acknowledgements of the thesis? I have seen writers including his/her fiancee in the acknowledgements, ...
50
votes
6answers
15k views

Dressing etiquette for interviews in academia

Are there expected dressing norms at faculty interviews? Will a casual tee-jeans be discouraged? In the same vein, what is expected when a student visits the campus for an interview?
36
votes
8answers
46k views

Is it ethical to accept small gifts from students? And how small is small?

Is it ethical to accept small gifts from students? In past years I have one or two students have given me small gifts, generally a box of chocolates. I judge the size of gifts on my international beer ...
31
votes
5answers
13k views

What to do when you discover a mistake in the archived copy of your PhD thesis?

I've just defended my PhD in mathematics and started a postdoc. While working on an improvement of one of the results of my thesis, I realized that there are several minor mistakes and a big bug in a ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

How do researchers send unsolicited emails asking for feedback on their works? [duplicate]

I wonder how a researcher send an unsolicited email to another one asking for feedback to their work. I guess it will be something like this? Hello Dr. X To introduce myself, I am Y, in institute Z. ...
48
votes
6answers
93k views

When / how should I ask about a manuscript's status in review?

I have a manuscript that has been in review for 60 days. The journal asks for reviews within four weeks. At what point is it acceptable (and not detrimental) to contact the editor for an update? How ...
42
votes
12answers
37k views

Should I call my adviser by her first name?

I have worked with my adviser for a few months as a graduate student. Everyone, including her other graduate students, seems to call her by her first name. She never expressed a preference to me, so I'...
59
votes
11answers
8k views

Share prize money from conference presentation award with co-authors?

I am a PhD student and I recently won a young scientist award and prize money (~500 USD) at a conference for the "best presentation". I did the majority of the work for the presentation, and I was the ...
40
votes
5answers
8k views

Hiring a PhD student who left another PhD position

It's the first time I'm recruiting for a PhD student. I advertised the position and have received a dozen applications and there are still 2 weeks left on the 4 week announcement. What caught my eye ...
36
votes
9answers
16k views

What is a good etiquette to correct a person using wrong title for me?

I currently have a masters degree in an engineering field and I don't currently have any PhD degrees (I may study for a doctorate degree in future). It happens that when I go to conferences or ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

Why the taboo against naming discoveries after yourself?

It is often considered a very bad idea to try to name a discovery (a law, phenomenon or an invention) after yourself. On the other hand, there are many species names which seem to be a bastardized ...
67
votes
4answers
7k views

How does it affect the treatment of a mathematician's results, if that mathematician was a Nazi?

I've been studying uses of quaternions to study various types of orbifolds. The important thing here though is that I came across an absolutely incredible result due to Vahlen in 1901, that apparently ...
33
votes
5answers
14k views

How frequently can you ask for a personal reference without being disrespectful?

When applying for post-doctoral and faculty positions you are typically asked for three (sometimes more) reference letters to support your application. Given that it is competitive out there, it ...
63
votes
5answers
9k views

Should I include funny pictures in my slides?

I am preparing slides for a short (10min) talk at the group meeting. The talk is about a fairly serious piece of (pure) mathematics, and it so happens that there is a very relevant one-panel webcomic. ...
60
votes
12answers
7k views

Handling unsolicited proofs of famous mathematical problems

I have been receiving mails from (most probably amateurs), who claims to have proved famous mathematical problems, like the ABC Conjecture or Goldbach Conjecture. But invariably, they all contained ...
72
votes
8answers
14k views

Is generic “thank you” email a waste of time in academia?

A very busy professor just responded my email. He answered my questions, and in the end, he explicitly said something like "Please let me know if you have any questions" or "Please respond if you have ...
65
votes
12answers
18k views

Is it okay if a professor friends a student on social media sites?

If a professor is teaching a student currently, is it okay if he/she friends the student on social media sites such as Facebook or Google Plus?
38
votes
13answers
10k views

Under what circumstances would a professor be offended at students taping or recording his or her lecture?

Are there any policies on taping or recording or even streaming a professor's lecture? What do professors think about students who do this? Obviously, most circumstances the professor would never ...
37
votes
10answers
75k views

Is it OK to call a professor by his first name when he/she signs emails by only first name?

If a professor in a North American country presents his- or herself by his/her first name in email messages, does this mean that students can refer to him/her by his/her first name? Or is this ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

In what situations would it be appropriate to include one's photograph in a CV?

I think I have only seen one CV where a photograph of the CV owner was included. I personally wouldn't want to put my photograph in my CV, but I was wondering, in what situations would including a ...
21
votes
3answers
23k views

What is the etiquette for thesis acknowledgements that thank God?

I saw that some theses acknowledgements thanks God, so are there any rules or suggestions about that? Is it ok to do it for believers or just don't mention your religious affiliation in a scientific ...
21
votes
8answers
14k views

Is a business card necessary for a graduate student?

I know some PhD students have their own business cards, but I don't know if it is a standard practice for PhD students to have their own business cards. I think a business card can be useful for ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How Would You React If a Student Complained to the Dept. Chair About You but Later Apologized and Disclosed Mental Illness? [closed]

After experiencing a lot of stress during my last undergrad. semester (and an episode of depression caused by my favorite professor declining to be my grad. advisor due to retirement), I worried that ...
20
votes
5answers
19k views

Do german professors like to be called “Herr X”?

I am a German student at a German university. I and everyone I know usually addresses my professors with "Herr Lastname" or "Frau Lastname". Sometimes I wonder whether they would prefer if I addressed ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it rude to ask the status of an application?

I have applied for a PhD position in October 2015. I was not informed about the result since then. Is it appropriate to send a mail to a member of the hiring committee (with whom I have contacted ...
1
vote
1answer
549 views

How should I phrase a question about an *ordinary academic matter* to a Professor?

Question: Suppose you need to communicate with an academic about some ordinary academic matter that falls within the scope of the ordinary activities of an academic. Perhaps this is a standard ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How much of humor in a formal academic writing is considered as disrespect? [duplicate]

In a formal academic writing (in the everyday sense), is it appropriate to use phrases such as "step out on" to titillate the reader? Since I am not a native English speaker, and since I have not ...
191
votes
18answers
47k views

What to do with a student coming to class in revealing clothing, to the degree that it disrupts the teaching environment?

Since semester started, a female student has been attending classes scantily clad or wearing clothes that are too revealing, like a sport bra without shirt on top, booty shorts, semitransparent silk ...
219
votes
13answers
75k views

Female students coming to office hours in overly revealing clothing

[because this is potentially relevant, I'm a 37 y/o male] Being the end of the semester, I've had a bunch of students come to my office hours to ask questions about things I'm responsible for. Among ...
92
votes
16answers
39k views

How to handle lecturer who doesn't let me use my phone?

Inspired by another question where a user asks how to handle students with a phone, my question is from the opposite perspective: what is the correct response when a lecturer asks one to put away the ...
129
votes
10answers
34k views

Should a young professor avoid using dating apps?

I am a recent PhD graduate in mathematics, and I will be starting a tenure-track position this fall at a small liberal arts college in a northern US city. My graduate degree was completed at a large ...
82
votes
9answers
16k views

Is it appropriate (as a PhD student) to email other researchers asking about some details in their papers?

It has happened on several occasion now, that I read a paper, understand 95% of it, but there are some niggling details which I simply don't get. I ask around, I ask my advisor, and nobody is able to ...
51
votes
11answers
100k views

What should a proper email signature look like for graduate students?

So far, what I have is First and Last Name Title Group/Lab Name School Name Address and Phone I'm especially confused about the "title". I'm not sure if it should say "Graduate Student", "Research ...
55
votes
7answers
13k views

What is the best way to deal with cranks?

Imagine you are minding your own business when you receive an email from someone who claims to have discovered the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. He provides ...
51
votes
6answers
14k views

Should your PhD students call you by your first name?

I've read at least one career advice essay that calls out asking your PhD students to call you by your first name as unprofessional. My coworkers and I always called our PhD advisor by his first name,...
42
votes
6answers
36k views

Is it appropriate to attend a class one is not registered for?

Is it appropriate for a student to attend a class s/he is not registered for? I am a CS student and I am almost done with my degree, but there are some very interesting electives that I will not get ...
47
votes
3answers
10k views

What should I do if I found a citation error in a published paper?

I've found a mistake in a published paper, and am unsure what to do now. I was looking at all cited articles from a paper over 10 years old, and found one that is citing the paper in error. A ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Should one avoid using the phrase “note that” in math writings?

I always thought that the phrase "note that" in a mathematical writing is simply something you say to express that what comes after "note that" is a fact. Due to its neutrality and versatility, I use ...
16
votes
2answers
25k views

What to do when emails to a potential advisor are not replied?

I asked a potential advisor for possible research projects but I haven't received a reply. What is the appropriate thing to do? Reply with my previous mail quoted, and say something like I having ...
52
votes
5answers
13k views

Should I send an email to authors of a paper I enjoyed reading?

For me as a graduate student, there are some papers out there that really stand out among the others. Some of them are really meaningful and inspiring. Is it polite or even acceptable emailing the ...
38
votes
14answers
80k views

Can I call an assistant professor “Professor”?

My former teacher, who had done her PhD in a top-10 university in the UK in 2009, is an assistant professor in my former school. On the day when I visited my former school, I saw her at the school ...
35
votes
4answers
17k views

As a student with questions about a paper, can I email the author myself or should I ask someone else to contact him?

I am reading a paper and have questions about the details of the procedure described. I have read other papers by the same team but they don't explain too much about that procedure anyway. I think it ...

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