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110 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake? I would say a bit of both. The professor’s reaction does seem a bit over the top. But your email would annoy me. Aside ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 193k
46 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

Your email looks mostly fine and I share the view that the response is needlessly harsh. That said, instead of I would appreciate your feedback on my project's relevance and feasibility, which just ...
Adam Přenosil's user avatar
40 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

While in agreement with the answer of Ian Sudbery and the answer of Adam Přenosil, let me make a suggestion for the future that will avoid such things and likely increase the probability of positive ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 375k
28 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

Your email look fine to me. I might have structured slightly differently if it were me. Its slightly on the long side, and you have to read all the way to the end to find out what you are asking for, ...
Ian Sudbery's user avatar
  • 41.7k
22 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

This may be a cultural thing1, but your email seems to be primarily a time sink. It is not until the fourth paragraph that you make it obvious what you actually want. Even then, you are not actually ...
MisterMiyagi's user avatar
  • 2,008
21 votes

Is arXiv strictly for new stuff?

Assuming the content type and contents are appropriate, submissions that are of scholarly interest are welcomed even if old. Here's an example of a never-published preprint from 1981, that was only ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 27.3k
21 votes

In the UK, how do scientists address each other?

The hurdles to address someone by first name are very small in British academia. Being mutually acquainted with each others papers, or eg being introduced via a common acquaintance, are definitely ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 44.8k
10 votes

Is arXiv strictly for new stuff?

It is OK to upload it, but in the Comments section you should say when it was written.
toby544's user avatar
  • 3,022
9 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

You received an unnecessarily rude reply to a slightly irritating request. Commenting on the feasibility of your research proposal is your advisor’s job, and if your advisor is not also an expert on ...
Significance's user avatar
  • 7,416
9 votes

In the UK, how do scientists address each other?

Generally, "Hi John". If you're in a formal setting, they're particularly accomplished, and it's the first time you've met them, maybe "Doctor X" but that would generally be the ...
ScottishTapWater's user avatar
7 votes

Is arXiv strictly for new stuff?

I've seen this a number of times, and it's perfectly fine most of the time. The exception would be if the result has already appeared in other people's work and you are claiming to have come up with ...
Zarrax's user avatar
  • 1,991
7 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

The external professor's email was rude. But I think he or she is right to decline to assist at this point. He or she is right to call out your request for what it is: a "free favor". Just ...
AdamO's user avatar
  • 667
6 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

If I were the professor. I wouldn't feel offended in the slightest. I don't like comments here who give you responsbility with all due respect to them. The fact the professor didn't even explain what ...
llmm's user avatar
  • 71
6 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

Expanding from a comment: Your request has several problems: It is sort of open-ended, in the sense that the recipient doesn't know the situation and quality of your proposal, but they have to agree ...
Davidmh's user avatar
  • 21.4k
6 votes
Accepted

In the UK, how do scientists address each other?

Dear Barbara (if I may), Xyz. Kind Regards, Carla Don't ever Mr., Ms. or Mrs. (urgh) anyone because it gets gross quickly for anyone who is not cis, and you don't want to assume their gender.
GrotesqueSI's user avatar
  • 5,639
6 votes

In the UK, how do scientists address each other?

If you've never communicated with an academic before, best to play it safe and address them either as Dr. Lastname or Prof. Lastname. Be absolutely sure to check which title they use by going on to ...
Crazymoomin's user avatar
5 votes

Is arXiv strictly for new stuff?

There are many older published papers that are hard to find, either because the relevant journals have become defunct or have no online facilities. It is therefor highly useful to post old papers to ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 69.9k
5 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

I do not see anything wrong with your e-mail. It might be a bit lengthy, but it certainly is not offensive. What is offensive is the answer. Never would I have expected such an e-mail from somebody in ...
sisee's user avatar
  • 1,448
4 votes

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

The professor is being a jerk. Sure, your email could have been better, and as discussed in the other answers, it is also debatable whether it was even a good idea (from your supervisor) in the first ...
Aqualone's user avatar
  • 1,232
3 votes

Following up in a friendly exchange

I'd err on the side of being a bit more polite and formal. Dear First/last name (whatever you parted on last time in your exchange), I'm following up on my e-mail from xxx (see below), as I am still ...
BioBrains's user avatar
  • 4,513
3 votes

What is the proper way to submit a "response" paper without offending the one I am responding to?

You're doing the right thing in wanting to alert the person in advance. What I prefer to do, and something I have appreciated when it's been done to me, is to send the person in question a draft of ...
Sverre's user avatar
  • 2,836
2 votes

Should a lecturer be friendly with students?

I started as a TA/lecturer before I was 21 and several hundreds of students passed through my classes before I graduated myself. Most of the students studied in the same program as I did, and a few ...
Jirka Hanika's user avatar
1 vote

Is this professor being unnecessarily harsh or did I actually make a mistake?

In alignment with most other answers, let me state that the professor was indeed rude. I might not be happy to receive an email with additional work, but there is still more polite ways to respond.. ...
Lot's user avatar
  • 1,163
1 vote

What is the proper way to submit a "response" paper without offending the one I am responding to?

First, understand you risk upsetting the other author regardless of reality (you might be on-base or off-base with your viewpoint and that does not matter, some people are more prone to holding ...
Richard Erickson's user avatar
1 vote

What is the proper way to submit a "response" paper without offending the one I am responding to?

To try to improve a bit on the answer of ChellCPlus, let me suggest that you make your comments about the paper, its methodology and conclusions, and not about the author(s). Say something like "...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 375k
1 vote

What is the proper way to submit a "response" paper without offending the one I am responding to?

Don't be confrontational or accusatory Just state clearly and professionally your concerns regarding their paper, don't let emotions get the better of you. But, at the same time try to offer some ...
ChellCPlus's user avatar
1 vote

Should a lecturer be friendly with students?

I agree broadly with the other answers. Friendliness is generally a good thing between human beings and I don't see anything wrong with it. There is in my view no contradiction between friendliness ...
Christian Hennig's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible