Questions tagged [science]

This tag is for questions on academia specifically applicable to students, researchers, and faculty in scientific disciplines.

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163
votes
8answers
11k views

Why don't researchers publish failed experiments?

The following might be a slight generalization for all fields but something I've noticed especially in the field of Scientific Computing: Why don't people publish failures? I mean, if they tried some ...
74
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8answers
15k views

I proved a theorem I heard from another researcher. Can I publish my results?

Some time ago I heard a talk in which the speaker mentioned some theorem. I needed this theorem for another paper I wrote. I looked for this theorem in the relevant literature (which I know quite well)...
68
votes
18answers
17k views

Why does research cost so much money?

I have been dragged into an argument with someone who can't understand why millions are being raised to fund ALS research (that's the "ice bucket challenge", love it or hate it). He doesn't get why ...
63
votes
6answers
13k views

Our research is being ignored by other research groups

I am doing a PhD in molecular biology where we conduct research on human skin and skin diseases. Our group (EU based) has been in a discussion with another research group from the USA, where we can ...
53
votes
8answers
8k views

Can I use a section of my thesis to “soap-box” about a meta-issue regarding research?

I'm a big believer in FOSS (Free Open Source Software), and a physics graduate student. I believe a lot of current researchers are not aware of free solutions to problems that are usually encountered ...
43
votes
6answers
2k views

Will people judge me negatively for skipping department seminars?

I'm a graduate student in the Earth Sciences. The breadth of my departments runs the gamut from geobiology to geophysics and everything in between. As a result, a large number of the department ...
35
votes
12answers
12k views

Is it good to finish a PhD fast?

I am not going to give details about the situation (for obvious reasons) but here it is: I got accepted for PhD to a very good American university, in experimental particle physics and I met a famous ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

What's behind the teen prodigies inventing things?

Every once in a while you see a headline similar to "17 year old student finds a cure for cancer!". Here are some examples too. What's behind this? I find it hard to believe that a teenager without ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

Does “Science” encompass Mathematics?

Inspired by the question Does the term “science” encompass humanities and the social sciences?, I would like to ask a question that has been in my mind for decades. Does "Science" include Mathematics?...
30
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2answers
41k views

What percentage of PhD theses are rejected nowadays?

What percentage of PhD theses (e.g., physics ones) are rejected nowadays? And why?
27
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6answers
15k views

How to establish collaborations with academics who you do not know where you contribute to their research projects?

Lately it feels like I haven't been doing enough both personally and professionally. I am very productive at both my place of employment and my graduate studies (i.e. PhD in Soil and Water Science) ...
26
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8answers
4k views

How to improve scientific writing skills?

What do you do to write better proposals, grants, and papers? Do you think reading books about how to write scientific content is a good way to improve it?
23
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4answers
3k views

How to increase the odds of becoming an invited speaker at science conferences?

Invited talks are important for moving up the academic ladder, so I'd like to know how one maximizes the odds of being offered to be an invited speaker at conferences. I am aware of the most obvious ...
22
votes
4answers
991 views

Subtle (and not-so-subtle) humor in scientific literature

Tonight I was scrolling through my RSS aggregator (which includes subscriptions for several journals I follow) and this abstract caught my attention. The article's title, as well as the name of the ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How to tell what is 'widely accepted' or 'consensus'

How can I find out what theories are 'widely accepted' in the scientific world at the moment? When I read about a theory, or read a paper, how can I tell what 'the scientific world' thinks of these? ...
19
votes
1answer
514 views

Submitting a subset of my work to ArXiv

I've been thinking of publishing a subset of my work in fluid dynamics to arXiv. I realize the following about arXiv: ArXiv isn't a journal I would need to be endorsed to submit an article on arXiv ...
17
votes
1answer
6k views

Another student has been assigned the same MSc thesis as mine (and already defended)

I am in a dilemma as to how to approach this issue. Basically, myself and another student were assigned the same thesis topic. Only difference is, I have been doing it part time and she completed her ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the term “science” encompass humanities and the social sciences?

I’m not a native English speaker and want to get a better grip on the nuances of the term science. In my native tongue, the word I’d use for science also refers to humanities and the social sciences. ...
17
votes
2answers
995 views

Do all countries have the same gender imbalance in science?

Do all countries have the same gender imbalance in science? That is, while some countries may have a higher proportion of women in science, while others have a lower proportion of women in science, ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do big funders not act as publishers?

Scientific publishing absorbs a lot of money from the budgets of scientific organisations, either by publication fees or subscription fees, and many feel that the value added by the publisher is ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Overlapping sentences in methodology descriptions in separate journal articles - plagiarism?

Disclaimer - I'm neither in favor of, nor endorsing plagiarism with the following question. I'm only hitting on the fact that sometimes, the interpretation of self-plagiarism can be quite stupid. ...
15
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3answers
2k views

When should you move on from a postdoc position?

Suppose that in your sub-field there are half a dozen research groups on your continent that are acknowledged to be "world class". You have had the good fortune to do your MSc research in one, and ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you do a PhD solely on repeating experiments of others?

In here, they say there is a problem with results not being replicated. I know a PhD is supposed to be "original" research. But could you do a PhD solely on replicating the results of others? ...
15
votes
2answers
795 views

What are the impacts of implementing a hot-desking model for grad student workspace?

The Dean of my faculty recently made the suggestion that we change the graduate student office spaces to a "hot-desking" or "hoteling" model. This is only being suggested for office space, not lab ...
15
votes
3answers
451 views

When should I publish in interdisciplinary versus subject-specific scientific journals?

Most science research is published in subject-specific journals, of which there are many. However, there are a relatively small number of interdisciplinary journals, some of which are the most highly ...
14
votes
1answer
365 views

Who “owns” a project idea after a grant application is rejected or declined?

This past year I put in an application to a federal agency (US) for a post-doctoral fellowship and collaborated on it with a three profs/research scientists on the proposal. If funded, one of them ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What is the general protocol to name something after somebody (some people)?

In mathematics (and other sciences) there are thousands of concepts, theorems, lemmas, etc which are named after some mathematicians (scientists). However, this nominations are not always very ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Do academicians consider Challenges on Kaggle to be research-worthy?

I am a somewhat new-ish member of Kaggle competitions with 1 submission. Do academics research via Kaggle challenges/competitions? If so are there any prominent names? If not why? They provide well ...
12
votes
2answers
325 views

When did English come to lead in published research?

As any modern student knows, nearly all published research these days is in English. That's just the way of the world. But it didn't used to be that way. Many of the most pivotal pieces of scientific ...
11
votes
2answers
474 views

As a post-doc, should I pursue incremental research or revolutionary research?

I've recently finished my PhD (the field almost doesn't matter, but applied mathematics if it helps), and begun a 3 year grant-funded postdoc with a heavy but very flexible research emphasis, in the ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

How long do editor decisions take at Science/Nature?

What does the distribution of wait times for a editor decision look like for a manuscript submitted to Science or Nature? (You are not allowed to say "Gamma" unless you give a shape and scale ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it normal to be stopped from doing experiments for months due to “equipment malfunctioning” during masters?

I am currently doing a medical science research masters with a difficult supervisor. Due to two incidents of equipment malfunctions (equipment that I am using), I was stopped from doing any ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How would a small liberal arts college view a PhD from Germany or the UK? Factors other than teaching ops?

Main concern: I am looking at PhD programs in Germany and the UK (vs US programs). Ideally, I would like to end up at a small liberal arts college (I got my BA from one). So I know I want a program ...
10
votes
2answers
291 views

Preprint services for environmental and earth sciences? [closed]

Is there a good, reputable preprint service that is used in the environmental and earth sciences, and considered acceptable by the major publishers? Many journals specifically state that it is okay to ...
10
votes
1answer
676 views

Making myself an attractive candidate for a research lab (no prior lab experience)

I graduated with a B.S. in mathematics but have always had an interest in chemistry. In particular, I enjoyed the labs. In fact, in the near future I plan to become involved in a Food Science program. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a joint science PhD/JD a bad idea if I end up pursuing academic science?

Question. I'm going into my third year as a PhD student in oceanography, and due to my interest in law, I'm considering applying to the concurrent PhD/JD program at my university. I’m wondering ...
8
votes
3answers
689 views

How to avoid European bias in science history teaching? [closed]

I'm a new lecturer. Part of my course (one lecture) teaches the origins of our scientific understanding of the solar system. I talk about the ancient Greeks, the preservation of their work by eastern ...
8
votes
2answers
455 views

Might colleges and universities not consider me for an assistant professor position because I'm a professional tutor in addition to being a teacher?

I'm a physical scientist, having completed both my Ph.D. and postdoc at top 5 U.S. universities. After working in industry for more than 10 years, I decided it was time for a career switch to academia,...
8
votes
4answers
461 views

How to avoid the “you didn't consider this” review in a scientific publication?

I am a 5th year PhD student, and I have been writing scientific papers for conferences for a few years now. One constant in the feedback that we get from reviewers is what I call, for lack of a better ...
8
votes
1answer
811 views

Is it wise for researchers to thank Alexandra Elbakyan (founder of Sci-Hub) in the paper acknowledgements? [duplicate]

Alexandra Elbakyan founded the site Sci-Hub, which allows bypassing publisher paywalls. If this service is used by researchers to access papers that would otherwise be out of their reach - due to ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How to pursue a DSc degree?

I read that a "Doctor of Science" is awarded for research well beyond a usual PhD degree awarded for a dissertation work and includes a portfolio of high quality papers in interdisciplinary fields. ...
7
votes
1answer
588 views

Accidental Researcher [closed]

I work in software engineering, where I specialize in computer graphics. I recently had to do a bit of research for my job, and I'd like to publish it at some point. It's currently going through my ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Postdoctoral fellowships/calls to work in Europe for scientists/mathematicians/engineers that are similar to Marie curie?

I was wondering where I can find any information on the postdoctoral fellowships/calls to work in Europe which are similar to Marie Curie? I'm doing my basic internet search on this, but don't seem to ...
7
votes
1answer
485 views

Do online recommendation systems ask specific questions about the PhD candidate?

I am applying to fall 2014 PhD programs in computer science. I have heard that the online recommendation system in place at most universities asks the recommender to answer a series of questions about ...
7
votes
1answer
216 views

How to communicate realistic expectations for science faculty research to administration

I teach at a small US liberal arts college with no graduate students. There is no support for research, and the teaching load is 4-6 courses per year. A colleague was recently denied promotion to ...
7
votes
1answer
427 views

Can i use the same Method Section for two different papers?

I did a survey on the demand for complementary medicine among patients of the gynaecologcial department here in Munich. We collected a couple of hundred questionnaires and I am currently writing two ...
7
votes
0answers
117 views

How can we measure the subjectivity in the scientific papers? [closed]

The subjective decisions come up many times in the process of paper writing/doing research. These decisions' consequences are added up at the end. I didn't find research that would actually measure ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Style for first introduction sentence - citation required for lurid statement?

I'm trying to write my first introduction sentence, which should be catchy. I came up with a sentence along the lines of "imagine the world without this super thing, all these things wouldn't be ...
6
votes
2answers
355 views

How much research funding do faculty members get in China?

In China, how much research funding do faculty members in physical science departments tend to receive? What are the approximate grant sizes and grant success rates in natural sciences from the ...
6
votes
2answers
197 views

How important is it, exactly, to use a rubric for grading undergraduate lab reports?

I'm a first year grad student, and I'm TAing for a freshman/sophomore level general science course. The professor who is in charge left it up to me whether I want to use a rubric to grade the students'...