Bitwise
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My first authorship is being turned into co-first authorship, what can I do?
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62 votes

First, try to calm down and don't react hastily. Your situation is very frustrating, but it is not horrible. Let's say that the current author ordering would be the final one. You would be what's ...

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Why are professors' websites so ugly?
52 votes

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 ...

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Are magazines (journals) "Scientific American" and "Popular Science" peer reviewed?
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48 votes

From the Scientific American website: Generally speaking, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN presents ideas that have already been published in the peer-reviewed technical literature. We do not publish new theories ...

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How to respond to a perplexing review?
43 votes

In my view: Option 1 is fine. You are not required to do what a reviewer asks - if you choose not to do so you just need to explain why. Option 2 is not a good idea. You are required to respond to ...

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Why is it called an "abstract" if it is 10 pages long?
Accepted answer
36 votes

I am guessing you are talking about RECOMB, one of the most important computational biology conferences. The story behind this is a little complicated and can show you some of the difficulties faced ...

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Can [edit: or should] a scientist's h-index decrease in the case highly cited publications are retracted?
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30 votes

The h-index is defined mathematically based on the number of publications and citations. So the only question is what data source you are using to calculate the h-index. If that source removes ...

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What to do when an advisor takes credit for a grant proposal?
29 votes

As far as I know, a grant is given almost always to a PI (principal investigator, i.e. head of the lab). Sometimes postdocs can also be listed as PIs, but I don't remember seeing a grad student as a ...

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How damaging are writing errors like typos in faculty application documents?
27 votes

To me, typos in a faculty application suggest one or more of the following: Detail - you do not pay enough attention to details. Rigor - you were not rigorous enough to ensure the document is error ...

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Why write papers anonymously?
23 votes

I searched for the author Anonymous in PubMed (the life sciences publication database), and found 26 results, which shed some light on your question. Some paper titles: "I was sexually harassed as a ...

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What do you do when your best friend cheats and has become top 10 in class of 250?
22 votes

You say that several students are cheating. This is actually good in the sense that you maybe can avoid specifically naming your friend. One option is to contact a relevant faculty member (ideally ...

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What does first authorship really mean in field X?
20 votes

Biology: I felt the answers for medicine, microbiology, and epidemiology may not give the complete picture. Of course this is my own opinion, as there are no real formal rules. The unofficial rules: ...

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When should I write a thank you letter to the author of a scholarly paper?
19 votes

I want to try to give some background to convey the perspective of the researcher on this matter. For a scientist, the publishing of a paper is usually the culmination of a lot of hard work. The ...

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Are faculty hiring committees overly polite on "denial" answers
Accepted answer
16 votes

This sounds like a standard US rejection - they may be sending this exact same text to all other candidates that were rejected. I do not believe you can learn anything from it and it does not reflect ...

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What to do when a referee asks for changes I am not willing to make?
16 votes

I agree with the other comments that it is ok to not satisfy the demands of all reviewers and that in the end the editor makes the call. However, it is still possible that the reviewer has a good ...

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Strategy for submission of articles to highly ranked journals
16 votes

I am not an editor so I don't think I can definitely say how editors treat this, but I suspect that if you keep sending manuscripts that are not appropriate to the journal, it won't be helpful in ...

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Is education in Europe really this cheap?
15 votes

There already a number of answers confirming that indeed academic education in Europe is often very cheap compared to the US, mainly because these are funded by the government. However, one point ...

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Given three reference letters in a postdoc application, how to decide which to list as the second letter and which to list as the third?
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14 votes

In my experience I have never encountered a situation in which the ordering of reference letters mattered. Usually the only distinction between the different letters is when you are required to have ...

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If i am the first coauthor of the paper, is it possible to change the order of names on the paper in my resume?
14 votes

Since you write that you are co-first author, I assume you are from a discipline where authorship order matters (e.g. life sciences), and then the answer is NO. In fact, this may be seen as purposeful ...

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Advice for having children during graduate school
14 votes

Congratulations! First of all, you are in for a wonderful and life-changing experience. However, your life is going to change quite drastically - so try to be prepared. Some things that come to mind ...

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Working in an isolated environment
Accepted answer
13 votes

I was in a pretty similar situation, so I can sympathize. Although, personally I found it less critical for me to have these interactions. Don't get me wrong - it was not easy to work this way, but I ...

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What should I do if a student has already done all the work for my course elsewhere?
12 votes

I encountered a similar situation in the past. The student explained the situation to the lecturer and the lecturer agreed to give the student all the exercises in advance so that he could finish them ...

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What does "This question is left for future research" imply?
12 votes

I cannot provide a quantitative answer, but from my personal experience I can say that these are often questions that the the same group will study. Consider that due to the publication process, at ...

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How can I determine whether a conference is reputable?
12 votes

What I usually do is look at the list of speakers in the current and past years. If the conference is in my field, I usually can tell if the speakers are well-known and what the level of the ...

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Difference between a Virtual issue and a special issue?
11 votes

Virtual issues, which are also referred to as "collections" or by other names, are a set of papers that were already published in various issues of a journal and are centered around a single topic. ...

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Should I start writing a paper early or after all research is finished?
11 votes

For me, writing a paper is a process that is not unlike how an author writes a book. I am constantly thinking about the "story" while I am doing the research. While working on a research project, I ...

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Average time alloted for manuscript review across disciplines
11 votes

In biology, things are much faster (although it can vary for different journals). From my experience, reviewers usually get a deadline of 2-3 weeks to submit their review, although many reviewers fail ...

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Interpretation of a PhD degree in a very broad, interdisciplinary field
11 votes

I completely understand your feeling. I can tell you that many other people in this field feel the same. This has nothing to do with how smart or how good they are. This issue also bugged me a lot, ...

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Why do breakthroughs in science and research that have enormous (and obvious) potential often not (or barely) go beyond the lab?
10 votes

I would like to provide an answer from the biological/medical perspective. The process of developing a drug for a disease is extremely long, complicated and expensive. This means the whole process ...

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When/whether to do pre-submission inquiry at high impact journals
Accepted answer
10 votes

I have never found a pre-submission inquiry to be useful, and was always advised against it. The main argument is that it does not increase your chances of acceptance and just adds another hurdle to ...

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Are old (>35) faculty candidates discriminated against all over the world?
10 votes

In some countries academic studies will only start at an age of ~22 due to factors such as military/civil service etc. which may yield: 22 + BSc (3 years) + MSc (2 years) + PhD (4-5 years) + (...

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