113

I do not know of any study in this field, but I have a hunch that the following points apply (without any particular order, just numbered for convenience in the case of comments/replies): Opportunity for citation: A paper that presents the ultimate answer to a problem is probably more valuable than a paper that presents just an unfinished attempt at solving ...


105

You're not the first one to come up with this idea. In case it's not obvious, I recommend against doing this: Having stupid mistakes in your submission makes you look stupid. It wastes the reviewer's time. It wastes the editor's time. If all the mistakes get through the review process, it wastes the reader's time deciphering what you means, and also makes ...


102

Keep asking the dumb questions! It is better to look like a fool, than to be one. You worry that many speakers are annoyed at the `elementary' questions. Some speakers do it because they are stressed about public talking, and any question upsets them. For some, communication of mathematics is not the aim of the talk; they give it because it is a condition ...


89

The earliest reference known to Wikipedia (as shared by jakebeal) is from 1956, but I found a few that were earlier. First, perhaps a hint as to how this usage evolved, here's a mildly sarcastic 1919 reference about universities that have abandoned the ways of the Ivory Tower to offer such "practical" courses as plumbing and basket weaving (which presumably ...


87

First, it is important to deploy your scientific skepticism in assessing this claim. The source, after all, is the American Enterprise Institute, which is a political "think tank" that is explicitly dedicated to pushing a particular point of view. Other key elements of its scientific record including taking tobacco company money to produce pro-smoking ...


84

Before asking a question, ask yourself the following: If I get a nice detailed and understandable answer to this question, will I be able to understand a significant part of the rest of the talk? If the answer is "no", then you should probably not ask the question even if there really is some ambiguity that could be cleared up, because chances are that ...


75

There is no such thing as a dumb question is a good adage for the classroom, where our mission is to teach students, and we have a number of weeks to accomplish the learning objectives. We use this maxim to encourage students to ask questions rather than fall behind. However, there is such a thing as an annoying question can be an equally true corollary, ...


72

This information came from a tweet I shared to express my excitement for finishing my PhD and, in the process, increase by 1 the number of underrepresented minorities in the US with a doctoral degree. I did not expect for this tweet to get the attention it has, but I'm glad it's opened the doors for more in-depth discussions about diversity and ...


70

Higgs's 1964 paper on the Higgs mechanism was rejected by Physics Letters (where his preliminary paper on the subject was published). He was told that it was not suitable for rapid publication and that he should send it to another journal. However, he reportedly heard that the paper had been rejected because the editors felt that "it was of no obvious ...


65

In 1961, one could easily get a good job paying a reasonable salary with the possibility of continued promotions without going to college. This is much less true in 2003, so many people are going to college not out of interest but as a default choice. Hence, while the population going to college in 1961 did so because they were interested in academics, ...


64

The US Census Bureau gathers data on educational attainment of people living in the US, broken down by race, sex, age, and other categories. They specifically include "Hispanic origin" (though they do not consider this to be a "race"). The data come from the American Community Survey and are widely considered to be authoritative. Here is their data for ...


46

I tried digging through the 2013 annual report of Elsevier. Under "Revenue" (page 111) they list both "subscriptions" and "transactional" - but the latter include not only reprints, but also books etc. As you can see, even if we lump books and reprints together, it is still less than subscriptions. To get a more complete answer you may have to ask them ...


46

As much as I'd like to leave this as a comment, I just can't. So here's a semi-rant but very informative piece of an American student's experience, and why we don't spend as much time studying as we may have 20-30 years ago. As a full-time student with parents who have fallen into essentially infinite debt due to tax and bankruptcy laws, I have zero ...


44

This is a terrible idea. Just a couple of days ago, I reviewed a paper with a lot of confusing descriptions and elaborate mathematics. It was not clear that the explanatory sections were going to be clear enough for me to be able to evaluate the mathematical material in a useful fashion, but ordinarily I would have given it a try. However, the very first ...


42

I have recently finished a PhD in Particle Physics. Over my time as a student, particularly early on in my studies I frequently encountered this problem. I would start by pointing out that, generally, you won't be the only student in the room and there will almost certainly be others thinking of the same 'stupid question' but not asking. Many times these ...


39

Citation count is a good example of a phenomenon subject to the Matthew Effect: a feedback process in which privileged individuals become more privileged as a result of their privilege. Quality, of course, does have a significant correlation with a paper drawing citations. Its citations are also strongly affected, however, by the fame of its authors, the ...


35

If good students who understand the topic well are getting bad grades because they don't do all the problems, you should think very carefully about whether you've made the exam too long. If this is what is happening (and I suspect it is), there is a very easy way to fix it: Assign fewer problems. Then you don't have to worry about coming up with a new ...


34

First, it is important to identify whether you are the intended audience for the talk or not. If you're not the intended audience (you're going to a seminar well outside your subfield, you're a second-year graduate student at a conference that's mostly not graduate students), then you should be careful not to annoy the audience. However, if you are the ...


31

I found this small-scale, not randomly-sampled survey from Boise State University: Warning: All charts below are from TAWKS Phase 1 Stats, initial survey of 30 higher ed faculty from Boise State University. While findings are highly suggestive, they do not represent a random sample. Answer to question: Only 17 percent of the workweek was focused ...


30

The only type of board that doesn't affect the air in the classroom is a digital whiteboard (aka a smartboard). If you're using an actual white board or black board be sure that your room is well ventilated and cleaned often. For chalk boards specifically some sources recommend chalk holders and even face masks. Here are the papers I found on the subject of ...


27

While I can't give actual firm numbers, I know that two (non-academic) consumers of academic articles are law firms and pharmaceutical/life science companies. One of my former classmates worked as a research assistant for a law firm that handles biotech and patent cases, and I recall having a conversation with him where he said they easily spend $20-30,000/...


27

The rationale is because graduate programs in the US are generally structured assuming the incoming student does not have a masters, and got a bachelors in the US, which can sometimes involve an embarrassingly small amount of math (and maybe more importantly, there is a very wide variation in what students learn at different universities, due to the ...


26

There is, in fact, a resource with the information you asked for, for institutions in the United States. Detailed information on individual academic libraries' expenditures (by university) is available from the National Center for Education Statistics in the United States, as part of their Libraries Statistics Program. The data from these surveys, ...


26

This answers is not exactly what you ask for — you ask for readership, but most of the research has focused on citations. The two are, of course, related, and the answer seems to be a pretty clear yes. (In my field, it's practically the only way I find stuff from overseas, as many online repositories don't seem to have much international coverage except for ...


24

There's no conflict in my mind, and given how hard hiring can be, I would value your input if I were on the hiring committee.


23

I'm surprised nobody seems to actually be examining the paper itself. I expect most here are academics, and this is a study after all. I did this and already found potential issues. I'm sure as you dig in further, you will find more to question. Like any study, one must first find potential flaws and address then with a follow-up study. The authors are ...


22

The answer is simple: you generally only write one letter per person and only customize it insofar as changing the name of the institution to which it is sent (if even that: "Dear Admissions Committee" works pretty well). If there are very different types of programs involved, you might customize a bit more, but not much. That means the incremental work ...


22

I've noticed this too. There is a longstanding literature (mostly in sociology) about social mobility that looks at parents' and children's occupations. Beller and Hout (2006) report that father-to-son occupation correlation was about 0.30 to 0.40, and Piketty (2000) gives an overview of intergenerational mobility for a handbook chapter. Getting closer to ...


21

Here's a relevant study on computer science systems research that addresses your first question, "What percentage of research articles are provided with their source code?". The study is described in a tech report: "Measuring Reproducibility in Computer Systems Research." Christian Collberg, Todd Proebsting, Gina Moraila, Akash Shankaran, Zuoming Shi, ...


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