We're a little crazy, about science!

The new papers

With three out of four of the papers I was working on published — or at least in the case of robot paper, about to go live any day now — I’ve got a new batch of papers I’m working on. Thankfully I don’t think I’ll have another pileup of work like that again, hopefully. Currently I’m working on two different papers and I already have plans for at least six more, so it will be a busy year for me.

The big four. I had projects just piling up on me and writing four papers at once was brutal. Slowly, but surely everything has been published, so now it’s time to look ahead a little. There are a LOT of projects coming and most of it is my fault. Because if it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making the most work possible for myself. For example, maybe setting a daily blogging goal on a whim, almost four years ago…

Anywho, with three of the four papers out of my hair and one in review we can finally look forward a bit and see what is coming next! There’s no rest in academia, so there will be papers! On the school side, I have “only” three planned for this year. One needs to be written, two are from my dissertation work that has yet to be started. The two may turn into one or even zero depending on how the work goes, but I’m hopeful for the two.

Then there’s the work side of things. Researching full-time in a hospital means I have to produce papers there too. On that front I have one paper I’m in the process of writing, two that we will be starting data collection for any day now (related to big idea!), and one to two that will be a collaborative effort between hospital-PI and me. We came up with the work together based on ideas he had and ideas I had. It will be a fun little project and we will hopefully start that in the next few months. There’s also the possibility for one additional paper for work related to the paper I’m working on now for the hospital side. That may or may not happen, I’m honestly hoping it doesn’t with the laundry list of papers I’m working on.

The exciting part is that several of these will be what we call “high impact,” or at least we hope they will be. I’ve … I wouldn’t say promised, but STRONGLY suggested to hospital-PI that the work from “big idea” (BI) will be Nature journal worthy, which is basically the gold standard for our line of work. Also, sadly they are a journal with very shady practices, like charing ~$10,000 USD for open access publications, anyone want to pitch in? Kidding, I wouldn’t pay the fee, the fee would be paid from hospital-PI’s lab budget since we don’t have funding for this project specifically… yet anyway.

The four papers from the hospital (2x BI and 2x BI related) will be a significant amount of work on my part so I plan on getting the data and arguing that I need to focus on it for a few days a week minimum. I’m hoping with the summer coming that won’t be an issue. Ironically, these four papers are my own damn fault. And I just happened to propose them while I am trying to do my dissertation work this year as well. But I’m going to roll the dice and try my best to make it all work out, because frankly I really want to do this project and since all four papers (from two different sets of experiments) are going to help me in the long run when I write my dissertation work, it won’t be a complete separation of work.

I’m hoping that the staggering of all these papers will be such that I won’t have to focus on more than one or two at a time. I don’t know that it will work out that way, but I’m going to try! I feel like I’ve gotten into a pretty good groove at the moment so I’m hopeful that things will work out for the best. However, if in a few months I’m complaining about the six or so papers I’m writing all at once, just remind me I did it to myself, this time at least. Last time was a string of seriously bad luck and getting used to being in a new field.

I would like to think forcing myself to write something (anything) every day has helped my writing when I need to work on a paper, but I’m not sure. I don’t have much to compare it with. I do think practice makes perfect though and I’m somewhat confident that even my “string of consciousness” writing style that I use here has improved over the years I’ve been blogging.

So let’s see, six or so papers this year, of which I’m hoping to have four to five of them published this year, along with the one that just got published (robot paper is coming any day now!) and one in review, that’s a whole lot of papers this year. At least for me. Hopefully that will look good to labs when I start applying for postdocs since I’m nearing the end of my degree (in a perfect world).

I’m nervous, but excited. Big idea in particular will be a lot of fun for me and I cannot wait to share it!

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