If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.

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113

Why the university officials do not take action over this copyright violation? Because they can't. There is no way to tell whether a given electronic preprint violates the publisher's copyright-transfer agreement or not. Different publishers place different restrictions on authors' rights to redistribute their papers. Some allow posting pre-edited ...


97

As has been stated several times, there is no such thing as a site being "too well designed." Of course the design should take into account the audience that will be viewing the site—i.e. if you are designing a website gallery for minimalist paintings, it would be very odd indeed to use as many buttons and links as Amazon.com, whereas for an online store ...


78

Academia is full of people who are deeply passionate about their work but sadly are less than deeply passionate about making an effort to communicate effectively about their work to the rest of the world. That is a bad thing, not a good thing. That is why we see poorly written papers, poorly prepared talks, and why we see poorly designed (or nonexistent) ...


71

Not ALL professors' websites are terrible. As referenced in this nature commentary, many academics acknowledge the potential benefits of having a good website. This article also links to a contest where submissions for the 'best lab websites' were solicited. Many of the links there are great examples of lab websites with elegant aesthetics and intuitive ...


70

As soon as you have even a single preprint, people will begin searching online to find out who you are and what else you have done, so you must have a web page. It doesn't have to be elaborate, and it's enough to start with a few lines of professional contact information and a list of links to papers, but you have to have something. I think a generic web ...


70

First, there is no rule that you need to have a picture of yourself on your professional webpage. Most people do, but there's no rule. It's nice to have some image that represents you (giving people's visual memories something to hold onto), but that could as easily be something from your research or anything, really. Second, I would not recommend posting ...


69

When I wrote a biography of myself, it was because someone in administration asked me to so they could put it into a prospectus, where there would be lots of biographies in a row all in the same editorial voice. It was specifically required to be in the third person for that reason: all the profiles are presented as though they have been written by the ...


62

I find the entire premise of the question quite odd. First of all, to answer your question: I’d say that in most cases I’ve encountered the answer would be no, you can’t use popular science articles as a primary source. That said, I seriously doubt that they’re all that’s out there. Google works on this problem: they came up with it and no one else ever ...


56

Perhaps it's different in other fields, but in math, it isn't pretentious for a PhD student to operate their own website, and it's quite common. (Most schools, at least in the US, provide the space for students to host a personal website.) Furthermore, I'd say that after a couple years, a PhD student (again, in math) absolutely should have a personal ...


54

Why don't you just do both? By both, I mean use both URLs. I "do both", so when I graduate, I'll still have my site for others to see. You can do this in many ways, but I had my university student page auto-redirect to my personal home page. The code for that is like a one-liner. This grants me the opportunity to refer people to different sites depending on ...


54

I've found out that the department (or the university?) is doing away with the server and instructing everyone to instead use the G Suite email and Google services that the general student body of the university uses. It sounds like the university is outsourcing IT, which is normal.


51

Are you sure those "lots of professors" you're talking about are infringing copyright holder's right? Because of the way you put it, your "question" sounded to me as if you were claiming that posting your own paper on your personal website was always copyright infringement no matter what, which is not true. For example, here's an excerpt from Terms and ...


51

There is another aspect that I have not seen mentioned in other answers. In some scientific fields/cultures, a stylish website could be viewed as unnecessary or even pompous. In this view, the textual content of a website is the only thing that matters, and if you "need" to make your website stylish perhaps it lacks real substance. This is the same line of ...


49

If you post under your real name, I think that it is quite "safe" in the sense that your work is unlikely to get stolen because of this. In fact, posting your work on a public forum is the best defense I know against intellectual theft. On the other hand, "Is this proof of a known result correct?" is generally not regarded as an appropriate MathOverflow ...


48

From the way you describe, this sounds really strange especially since there is a lot of real research in AI. I cannot believe you could only use those articles. However, your supervisor is the right person to ask - most likely, they alone will decide whether or not your dissertation is enough.


45

I can't even imagine a situation in which criticizing published academic materials on their merits would be wrong or immoral. How would it be different from criticizing someone's selection of an econometric or statistical model to use on their data? This happens constantly in academic literature, and in fact is crucial to the process of research. The ...


43

In my case at least, I provide this information mostly for the purpose of recruiting future graduate students. By demonstrating that all of my former PhD students and postdocs have landed in desirable positions (be they in academia or in industry), I am able to make a strong case for the value of a PhD obtained as a member of my group. In my opinion, this ...


43

From both an ethical and a practical standpoint, you don't. The ethical reason should be obvious (and has been stated in comments); you are lying to your employer about leave, and asking the conference organisers to be complicit in this (presumably without their knowledge). If you want to take sick time when it's not permitted, that is your risk to take, don'...


40

This doesn't sound like your website will have special requirements that an all-purpose CMS couldn't handle. My advice is to go for one of those "all included" packages by a mainstream provider with something like Wordpress, and find a nice-looking template. This is the easiest choice, it will guarantee up-time, and you don't have to spend valuable time to ...


39

It may depend on the rules of your institute, but I'd bet that putting ads on your homepage is not allowed. You should certainly not put up ads without verifying that you have official permission to do so. If you work at a public university or other governmental institute, then putting up ads could be considered using government property for personal gain. ...


38

I find it really strange that no one has mentioned the possible reputational benefits of using the university's website. I don't think there's any way to write this without sounding like a snob, but I'll say it anyways; people are snobbier than they like to admit, and academia is probably worse than many other fields. If you're at an at all prestigious ...


38

You must quote copied text and cite it where it is quoted. Citations at the end are vague and can be misleadingly general. Specifically, it can give the impression that the cited works support all of the text on the page as a whole. Specific citations are honest in that they clearly delimit what is being cited from the rest of the content of the page.


36

For any well established research, they will usually have quite a large number of citations, which would make a "cited by" section would be exhausting to maintain and large beyond meaningful readability. A better route is to link to an database that actually engages in curating ones citations, such as Google Scholar. I do, however, sometimes see people ...


35

Blackboard is used by the university I teach at and I used it at the university I studied at - Blackboard (BB) is mostly uniform. While you can customize your courses, to an extent, a student moving from one course to another using BB will already know where everything is. BB is simplistic and students have different technical abilities. Having each ...


34

This is a matter of institutional policy. Find your university's IT policy and read it; if advertising isn't explicitly mentioned, ask someone. Here is an example of an advertising policy, from the University of Florida. It permits only a limited group of university offices to place advertisements on their sites. Here is a policy from Florida State ...


33

No; this isn't how reputable venues approach authors. This will have at best zero value (possibly negative value if someone notices, which is unlikely given how little visibility they apparently have), and will cost you $38. (Its funny that they advertise that they get 8000 website hits per month. This strikes me as an exceedingly low count, given that ...


31

Personally the professors and PhD students I remember well are the ones with an elaborate page for themselves. From what I have learnt from this site, a PhD is simply not merely about publications, citations and academic work. You need to build contacts, make friends and network in the academia, which as such is a small place. Having a page for yourselves ...


31

There are several reasons why this would be the case. The most prominent of which is simply they don't have the time to do it. Most institutions have departmental and faculty websites which contain such information (depending on how much the University/institute keeps up to date with it) and is managed by someone other than the professor. Sometimes, the ...


30

You opinion about the state of Blackboard is pretty much what most of us who use it also think. At the institution I work we (the faculty) are required to use Blackboard for all modules and there is a minimum level of information we have to post there about our modules in a standard format. This does at least ensure that there a minimum standard is achieved ...


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