We're a little crazy, about science!

The work ahead

There’s work to be done and as usual when things pile up like this, I like to discuss (as much as I can) the things I’m up to. Mostly as a (semi) sanity check. I want to make sure that when I write out the stuff I’m doing or the order I’m working in that it makes sense to do it in that way. So what’s in the need to do pile today? Lots of stuff, ranging from data analysis to paper writing. The work never seems to be finished.

When I last discussed it, robot paper (here) had been updated per the reviewers instructions. Overall the reviews were positive and I did my best to respond in time, however my former PI (robot-PI, maybe?) couldn’t review my edits in time for the deadline so I had to politely ask for an extension despite my best efforts to not need one. Thankfully robot-PI (that sounds weird, but we’re going with it) only asked me to request a week extension, so now the response is due next week and I hope that there will be minimal work from me between now and then. I like to imagine I did an okay job of responding to the reviewers, but who knows. Once I get the feedback from robot-PI I’m hoping this will be the last chapter in the long and agonizing saga of robot paper.

There has finally and somewhat suddenly been movement on the other paper front. The paper, which I won an award from the BRAIN initiative last year (here), has been stalled because of some disagreements from the senior authors (“s” as in multiple, which has caused problems). For months (again with an “s”) I’ve been going back and forth with school-PI, hospital-PI and another collaborator trying to get everyone on the same page. They all agree that the analysis was good, just that the results have been somewhat unexpected and frankly controversial amongst the group. Mostly there are sections one author wants removed because they don’t feel it contributes to the paper, another things it is what makes the paper.

Thankfully the third finally weighed in after dealing with their own paper headaches. They offered some interesting suggestions, mostly they had similar issues with some of the things we did so now the scale is tipped more toward removing the “controversial” section. I don’t know how well that will go over or if I need to arrange a big group meeting to go over the process (yet again), but something will have to give. I’m only hoping this can be resolved quickly so that I can finally submit and just deal with reviewer comments instead. In the meantime, almost all the other requested edits can be made so that I can have a mostly finished paper, mostly ready for submission. Fingers crossed on that front, but I’m going to have a busy weekend of writing at best.

Then there’s the new project I just started. Because of course there is. On top of the OR experiments today kicked off the semi-return to non-clinical research. That of course means I’m not juggling multiple datasets. Hospital-PI is convinced that this will be quick, I’ve heard that before, on multiple occasions. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed though. In the meantime I have not one, but two datasets that need reviewing before next week. Ideally the first would even get done today (wishful thinking in my opinion). Mostly that will need to get done this weekend as well.

I also got an update from school-PI on my IRB application that I need to deal with. He’s asked me to make several changes and a list of my changes for them to review. So while not quite a third writing assignment it will take a significant chunk of time to update. To think I can still somehow find time to complain about all this… weird!

So yeah two papers, two projects, one IRB application, and not a lot of time. Which after writing for so long, that seems to be about the state of things normally. Actually at this point I’m grateful it’s only two first author papers left on my plate, four was far too many and two feels pretty exhausting if I’m being honest.


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