Questions tagged [etiquette]

The customary code of polite behavior amongst the academic world.

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1 answer
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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 ...
jakebeal's user avatar
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36 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
125 votes
8 answers
66k 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 ...
user avatar
63 votes
9 answers
82k 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). ...
lemon's user avatar
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47 votes
2 answers
25k 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 ...
G M's user avatar
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66 votes
10 answers
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. ...
Bravo's user avatar
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37 votes
10 answers
109k 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 ...
sequence's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
134k 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 ...
Robert.Li's user avatar
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64 votes
8 answers
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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 ...
Yes's user avatar
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55 votes
2 answers
53k 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, ...
padawan's user avatar
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50 votes
6 answers
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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?
Bravo's user avatar
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36 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
postdoc's user avatar
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37 votes
8 answers
56k 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 ...
StrongBad's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
6k 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. ...
Ooker's user avatar
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75 votes
8 answers
16k 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 ...
dodo's user avatar
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74 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
j0equ1nn's user avatar
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51 votes
6 answers
108k 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 ...
Abe's user avatar
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43 votes
12 answers
42k 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'...
Pronce's user avatar
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67 votes
9 answers
16k 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
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60 votes
12 answers
8k 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 ...
Alfred Gauss's user avatar
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59 votes
11 answers
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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 ...
traindriver's user avatar
49 votes
13 answers
29k views

Is it acceptable for a student to connect with a professor on LinkedIn?

Earlier in the semester, I was informed by both an advisor/academic counselor and a professor at my university that it is a good idea to connect with professors on LinkedIn if they have interests in ...
user760900's user avatar
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40 votes
4 answers
4k views

Should I notify people I mention in the acknowledgements section?

I recently finished a paper in which I received valuable feedback from two professors (neither supervisors nor coauthors) at some specific points, which ultimately leaded to localized significant ...
epsilone's user avatar
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40 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
electrique's user avatar
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36 votes
9 answers
19k 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 ...
enthu's user avatar
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30 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Superbest's user avatar
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23 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Felix Y.'s user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
24k 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 ...
problemofficer - n.f. Monica's user avatar
65 votes
5 answers
11k 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. ...
Jakub Konieczny's user avatar
51 votes
6 answers
15k 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,...
user168715's user avatar
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38 votes
13 answers
11k 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 ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
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35 votes
3 answers
13k views

Is it okay for a potential post doc to send an email to professor on the weekend?

I am talking with a professor to apply to a postdoc program. I sent a cold email earlier this week and we have exchanged a few emails. In his last email he sent me some papers to read. The thing is, I ...
Bennydelon's user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
user6670's user avatar
  • 624
22 votes
9 answers
47k views

Is it appropriate to say "hi" to a professor in email?

There is a professor with whom I've taken two courses so far, and who has also agreed to write me a reference letter for graduate school when I complete my undergraduate program. I usually write to ...
sequence's user avatar
  • 1,132
21 votes
8 answers
15k 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 ...
bingung's user avatar
  • 3,549
21 votes
3 answers
28k 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 ...
Thomas Lee's user avatar
  • 4,950
12 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
padawan's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
10k views

How to refer to a university that changed its name?

More than 10 years ago I went to University A School of Engineering, in the USA and used this name on all resumés, etc. Now, I am applying to attend this same school again (for another degree). Over ...
Rhonda's user avatar
  • 1,007
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is this way of writing e-mails to professors asking for funded PhD positions to work under their supervision good?

I am a person in an Asian country who plans to write to professors in Europe for a PhD position in Math for the session of 2022. I know Europe has a lot of countries and is certainly not a uniform ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
739 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 ...
Ben's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Yes's user avatar
  • 7,576
0 votes
1 answer
949 views

Professor not responding to my mails after earlier discussions

I have applied to a professor from another university - and from another country, in case that is relevant - about doing my undergraduate thesis under him. He said he liked my profile and asked me ...
James Bond's user avatar
223 votes
13 answers
80k 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 ...
Koldito's user avatar
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128 votes
10 answers
38k 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 ...
MathAnon's user avatar
  • 1,157
91 votes
16 answers
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 ...
SAK's user avatar
  • 1,122
83 votes
9 answers
18k 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 ...
user avatar
52 votes
5 answers
14k 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 ...
Eliezer's user avatar
  • 845
52 votes
11 answers
109k 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 ...
cartonn's user avatar
  • 1,397
48 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
Louis Maddox's user avatar
43 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
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