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168 votes

Is "flowery language" frowned upon in engineering and STEM related research?

There's nothing wrong with long words. The real issue with your writing is that it is redundant. "these related works are germane to our present discussion." In this sentence, "...
knzhou's user avatar
  • 3,578
122 votes

Co-authors request that others do not use "he" as a pronoun - is this reasonable?

This is an entirely reasonable request and you should honour it. It is very easy to write English in a manner that avoids the unfortunate use of 'he' as a placeholder for either gender, and doing so ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
122 votes

Two researchers want to work on the same extension to my paper. Who to help?

Work with both John and Sam on the same paper. You all have something to offer, so pool your efforts and work together.
user2768's user avatar
  • 40.9k
120 votes
Accepted

Is it normal for collaborator to rerun experiments himself?

I don't find that behavior strange at all. If I want to understand problems with algorithms (I don't do experiments with anything other than algorithms) I need to run them by myself and sometimes even ...
Dirk's user avatar
  • 38.5k
99 votes

Co-authors request that others do not use "he" as a pronoun - is this reasonable?

Certainly there are many people in the world who prefer to avoid using gendered pronouns for persons of unspecified gender, so your co-authors' view is not particularly unusual. But there are others ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
92 votes

Am I conveying disrespect if I omit my gender pronoun from a conference nametag?

It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 192k
86 votes
Accepted

Is it a valid concern that a PhD student runs out of research ideas?

Research ideas tend to grow exponentially. At the beginning, Alex is a student who doesn't know what's already been done -- no ideas (though maybe some interests) As an undergraduate, Alex will ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.3k
81 votes

Professor I am working with asked for my code

You seem uncomfortable sharing interim results with collaborators. That goes against the collaboration spirit and I implore you to share all results. In the future, don't start a collaboration with ...
user2768's user avatar
  • 40.9k
77 votes
Accepted

Does it make sense to let a colleague know about his repeated misspelling?

Let it go, while the typo is limited to emails. Emails are frequently written hastily and certain typos can be common or made on purpose to type less, or even for fun (I do sometimes this in my ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
77 votes

How can I supervise a careless student?

I think that doing the calculations yourself and asking the student to proofread them may not have been the best approach. If he can't even spot his own mistakes, what are the chances he would spot ...
Oбжорoв's user avatar
  • 2,469
76 votes
Accepted

Co-author keeps rewriting the article in poor English

This depends a lot on your analysis of their personality. If they are reasonable, then suggesting that you edit the final submitted version will improve the English and make it less likely that the ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
75 votes

Can someone else claim that their name should be on our paper because they have been working on the same problem?

Working in parallel isn't collaboration. Unless the other people contributed directly to your paper then they have no right to authorship. Nor would you have right to authorship of theirs. It would be ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
72 votes

Is it normal for collaborator to rerun experiments himself?

When I was a graduate student, I was working together with another student who implemented a rather complicated numerical simulation. To understand it better, and to do some additional experiments ...
Goo's user avatar
  • 661
71 votes
Accepted

My collaborator has asked to be only acknowledged in a paper. Should I make him a co-author?

The answer depends on how firmly Y has declined authorship. I don't think it's appropriate to ask the referees to decide on authorship. You cannot list Y as an author without his consent. If he ...
David Ketcheson's user avatar
71 votes
Accepted

Promised authorship was not given; am I supposed to get an automatic acknowledgement?

While we cannot conclusively determine whether or not you would have deserved co-authorship, for the reasons others mentioned (number of authors on the paper, the time you invested into this project, ...
gnometorule's user avatar
  • 12.4k
70 votes
Accepted

Co-authors decided to remove most of my contributions from a Nature paper without my consent

First, take the time to carefully consider your options. From your description the problem looks like a disagreement between co-authors: the behaviour of the corresponding author is careless and ...
Erwan's user avatar
  • 13.6k
69 votes

How to get my independent mathematical research accepted?

Read enough math papers so that you have a sense about how they are written up. Then write your own, emulating the style. Then submit it to a journal. You don't need any degree for this. You will get ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
67 votes

Conflicted about performing joint research with individuals from an enemy country

I think a reasonable advisor would accept what you say here. "I'll be in danger, personally and reputationally, if my name is associated with country X in any way." People understand that ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 371k
65 votes
Accepted

Is it impolite to not reply back during the weekend?

No it’s not rude, it’s called boundaries and you are allowed to have them. Simply because you are online and doing something else does not entitle anyone else to your response. There’s some nuance to ...
GrayLiterature's user avatar
65 votes
Accepted

Authorship issue between two PhD students

I would say "Be generous and don't attach too much significance to the appearance (or lack thereof) of certain combinations of curved symbols (a.k.a. "letters") in the author line" ...
fedja's user avatar
  • 11.6k
64 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid being "the negative one" when giving feedback on statistics?

I would suggest approaching your colleague in a humble and inquisitive way (especially since you're a junior member of the team). If you start the conversation with "your conclusions are wrong and ...
BarbalatsDilemma's user avatar
64 votes

Is "flowery language" frowned upon in engineering and STEM related research?

The rule is: Never use an uncommon word where a common word can do the job just as well. This is to make it easier to read your work. You said My intention is merely for the writing to be ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
62 votes
Accepted

Is writing a research paper on Overleaf risky for plagiarism?

Overleaf is unlikely to be a problem To plagiarize your work, someone would have to find it very valuable hack your Overleaf account (and know it is there they need to hack) or that of your coauthors ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 8,923
60 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a complete failure in a group research?

Failure is intrinsic to science: how can you think of exploring the unknown without ever failing? Alas, it's a certain modern, distorted, entrepeneurship view of science that brought us thinking that ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
58 votes
Accepted

Can I invite myself to a lab to give a talk?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with making an outreach to a group you're interested in learning more about. Just make sure not to make it too hard of a sell: you could say something like, "I'd like ...
aeismail's user avatar
  • 174k
58 votes

Cannot attend CS conference but coauthor isn't registering

Another possibility is that your "non-academic employment" obviously values your skills - have you considered asking them if they will give you leave (paid or unpaid) to let you present - and it has ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 28.1k
57 votes
Accepted

How to correspond with academics as a young researcher in high school?

Researchers tend to be very busy advising their own students, and often don't have much free time to commit to supervising others. Recognize that you are asking someone who is very busy to spend some ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 109k
57 votes

Collaborator remade all the figures of our results. How to proceed?

Joint papers are just that: They are collaborations where, ultimately, everyone is responsible for everything. My take on this is that if I write some text, then it's fair game for every one of my co-...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
56 votes
Accepted

How to tactfully refuse to be listed as a co-author

Well, there were a lot of mistaken decisions here, including by the journal to list your name. To answer your title question, you should have, before the paper was submitted, told the group you didn't ...
Azor Ahai -him-'s user avatar
56 votes

Is co-authoring with friends a good idea?

By all means, go for it. As always when co-authoring: agree on the order the names on the paper beforehand and explicitly. This prevents conflicts.
Maarten Buis's user avatar
  • 44.5k

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