123

Absolutely. It helps, though, to be a little context sensitive. If you've just come from an amazing presentation and want to talk about it to someone else, then "did you just hear that great talk by/about X?" is a good way to start the conversation, better than just "Hello" or "Great conference, eh?" If you know who the person is (they're speaking, you ...


81

Don't make it personal. Keep it about the science. You can inform them of the flaw and let them fix it or you could just publish a new paper with better results, pointing out the flaw if needed. That would depend on whether you want the new result under your name or are happy enough for it to be under theirs. If you write, however, and get pushback, ...


62

I don't think that this is special to any type of professional environment. The professor is polite and responsive. However, they repeatedly tactfully refused an informal meeting, which indicates that they are uncomfortable with it (indeed, they may be coincidentally busy at the given time, but often this would be reflected in the suggestion for rescheduling,...


56

I distrust it for an entirely different reason. I once wanted to download a paper, and could only do it if I signed up. I signed up by logging on with my facebook account... Well, academia.edu took my profile information, and, without me knowing it, created an academia profile. With my picture, publications it could find via search engines, and a list of ...


51

I'm no physicist, but speaking from common sense: Depending on how "ground-breaking" your discovery of their mistake is, here are the options I would consider: Silly mistake that could have been avoided by being careful or by knowing a bit more math: Write up a correction, contact the group and offer to co-author the correction with them, so that way ...


47

Go to a conference/workshop. Ask intelligent questions in talks. Talk to speakers afterwards. (Have your advisor introduce you if you're shy.) Eat lunch with them and their students. Hang out in the hallways. Talk about your research. Listen to other people talk about their research. Listen to gossip. Throw in a few dirty jokes. Grab some coffee, ...


46

The answer is simple: yes, it is acceptable and common. Don't worry about your rank or about the status of your school. If your email is polite, friendly, is not too long but still includes enough relevant information about you to make it clear to the professors that you and they have shared interests, I estimate that the chances of success (meaning they ...


41

It is not appropriate to waste other people's time. As a general life principle, anyone wanting to talk to me without being able to articulate a reason beyond wanting to "establish a connection" or "build a relationship" with me quite clearly is doing it to advance their own self-interest without having anything meaningful to say to me, and without really ...


40

what questions are best to ask them to keep the conversation going after they have given this spiel when I am a novice in the field? You're overthinking this. Pretend it's a conversation between human beings: do you have a question about what they said? Ask it. Don't you have any question or you find their research topic utterly boring? Change topic of ...


39

I'm not a native English speaker but I do understand your frustration. Here are some of my experiences: Embrace the elephant in the room Time to time I found people around me are too "polite" to not tell me that they don't understand what I say. I have had a course evaluation saying that "the instructor is great but time to time I had hard time understand ...


37

No. What really helps in building academic contacts is not beer, wine or any other alcohol, but the ability to generate informal discussions in relaxed settings. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve that goal that do not require the intake of alcohol! Even without going very far from drinking, sharing a nice lunch or dinner in an appropriate setting ...


31

By starting a discussion on a point of interest to both them and you. This can typically be a question, or introducing yourself and suggesting that you would like to discuss some of your results with them. But before you can get this conversation started, you'll have to give your name, and state your position, so: all of the above. I think the best time/...


29

It's possible that you are misunderstanding what the signature of a department head implies or requires. In general, signatures are used to ensure that policies and procedures have been appropriately followed. Save for unfortunate cases where resources are solely allocated due to rather extreme corruption (beyond anything I've personally encountered), you ...


28

I think this is an interesting and multi-faceted question. As a postdoc, I was very much on the laundry list side of things. I did a lot of teaching, organized events, went to plenty of conferences, helped with department service, collaborated in projects that I probably should have gotten out of months ago, started a lot of long-reaching initiatives which ...


24

One thing that sometimes works is the following: Hi, I'm so and so, working with Prof. X on topic Y (my webpage). I was going to be in the area during (vague period) and was wondering if I might stop by to chat with your group about your fascinating work in Y'. While this is a little passive-aggressive, I've found that more often than not, they'll ...


24

In general, this is perfectly appropriate behavior at a conference. However, people differ. Not everybody wants to small-talk with people they do not know. Some people see no "value" in talking to younger students (clearly, this is a short-sighted view). As such, you should not take it personally if somebody does not want to talk to you. Maybe it is in fact ...


22

As a PhD student, I had business cards and never used them. Now I don't even have cards. I consider them a relict from different times. I would say nobody strictly needs a business card anymore, and I rarely see them being exchanged at conferences either. Now, a homepage is a different story. You definitely need a homepage, for many of the reasons you think ...


21

Well, I find reasonable numbers for research groups focusing on eyetracking by using Google and search operators. Of course, you should add some redundant similar terms (eye-movement, baby,...) Notice, there are some patterns: american universities nearly always have edu (actually it's even a domain) in their URL, german univ. uni. So using inurl:edu in ...


21

You are right that it is difficult to make contact with a busy expert when you have no network contacts to draw upon. One of the best ways to make contact is to attend a conference that covers your area of interest; this can be pricey, but in my field the major conference even has "Meet the Experts" lunches for student attendees. At the conference, register ...


21

My experience of business cards in academia is that they are mostly just an easier way to share contact information than scribbling it on a napkin. As such, the only things that are really important are institution, name, title (because everybody will expect it), and sets of preferred contact information. As such, if you want people calling you, put down ...


21

The first thing to do is to typeset your work and check it - if possible ask someone else to look over it if only superficially to make sure there is no obvious oversight on your part. Typesetting is a form of deep proofreading so this will also force you re-evaluate your own work with the mindset of explaining to others what you have done. The next thing ...


19

Attending conferences is very useful for several reasons. Usually, the work presented at conferences involve the latest developments in the field. This may provide you with new ideas or tools for your own research. It will give you a good overview of what is happening. You will also become familiar with who is doing what. In addition to this you also have ...


19

Yes, it is appropriate to walk to random people at a conference. (At least I do it often; all in all, conferences are to learn new people / network in the same field.) Of course, you cannot expect everyone wanting to talk with you: there are personal preferences, some people are waiting to discuss with someone else (or just want to rest from talking :)), ...


18

The current best source for answers to this question is the SHERPA/RoMEO database, which categorizes all journals by their policies. This tells you, for most respectable journals, what you are legally allowed to do in terms of posting versions of the paper on other sites (this may, of course, be modified by local laws; for example, documents produced by ...


18

Don't try too hard. You will have plenty of time later to build a solid reputation. First impressions are way overrated. They will not be the basis of any serious (as in "costs real money") decisions, least of all concerning some complete newbie. Enjoy the conference, get to know people, mingle. Play your rôle of newcomer who is just joining the club. ...


18

Would it be acceptable for me to e-mail them out of the blue and ask them if they'd like to meet/have coffee to discuss common research interests? It's certainly acceptable, but I don't agree with Dan that it is "common". More frequently than getting mailed completely out of the blue, I get requests from conference acquaintances (although the bar is ...


18

Otherwise, the professor answers all of her questions and gives great advice to her, in terms of how to advance in the field. I would say that she has successfully already established a connection with this professor. Lucky her: you can find many variations on the question "How do I get professors to answer my e-mails?" -- both on this site and elsewhere on ...


17

Based on my experience, I will say that unfortunately the answer is yes. i.e. it puts you at a subtle disadvantage because you are different from the rest. Note I am saying 'subtle' because no one will readily admit treating you differently. Alcohol serves a social purpose and is often used to create instant connection between two people. Its part of the ...


16

Here is a subject map of science: It is taken from the following paper, freely available from Plos One: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0039464?imageURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0039464.g001 I think that this is the sort of thing that you are interested in. N.B. I am not a co-author, nor have I read the paper, so I make ...


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