Exciting AND Consistent? Verbs and Nouns in Scientific Writing

Rebecca Helton, MA

Pop quiz: Which of these sentences is more interesting? 1. We did the experiment, and it was a vivid example of the power of broccoli to make kids gag. 2. We performed the experiment, which vividly demonstrated the power of broccoli to make kids gag. You chose the second one, right?  (Please make my former English […]

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Women and URMs, Peer Review Needs You. Here's Why and How to Get On That.

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

UPDATED! Awesome update on our call for URM and women reviewers: After lots of awesome feedback and 63 folks signing up, its clear that trainees and PIs turned out in droves. At the time I wrote this, we were specifically looking for young faculty who we might have gone off my radar (or the radar […]

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Walk the Dog: How Writing Every Day Can Make a Project Seem Less Daunting

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

In her Chronicle Vitae article, Joli Jensen equates her daily writing time with walking the dog. That is, many people view their writing obligations as “wild beasts, lurking in the jungle, ready to pounce.” Jensen insists instead that you view your writing projects as pets, waiting to be walked every day. Sure, many days you […]

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Pearls of Wisdom from Study Section Members

The Edge for Scholars

Sitting with a stack of 40 grants to review is a sure way to get focused on what makes a grant submission strong. The following pointers are from Dr. Chris Eischen, a multi-R01 funded cancer investigator and Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Listen up.  As a grantsmanship heavy hitter and NCI study section […]

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Understanding H. pylori: Meira Epplein

Rebecca Helton, MA

Meira Epplein, PhD, came to epidemiology by a more scenic route than most. She has always been fascinated by China, from Chinese art to culture and modern history. After getting an MA in Chinese Studies, she began working for an Asian research think tank, studying military, political, and security issues surrounding China. Because she frequently […]

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Nature: The Plight of Young Scientists

Rebecca Helton, MA

A recent news feature in Nature highlighted challenges facing early career scientists, from pressure to publish to shrinking funding and the increasing length of time before reaching research independence. Early Career Researchers Need Fewer Burdens and More Support “New faculty members need more flexibility and support than established investigators with smoothly running groups, often staffed […]

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Why Your Favorite Journals Need to Put a Dog in the Ethics Fight*

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

There is nothing an journal editor loves more than seeing a late night email from my best friend, Paul Brookes, in their mailbox. Paul is a genius. Well, technically he’s a super genius, mitochondrial physiology dood. In his non-existent spare time, he bravely faces down really horrible examples of fraud in his field. Not too […]

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Unexpected Perks of Editing for a Journal

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Six months into being a Reviewing Editor for Journal of Neuroscience and my top favorite things, in no particular order, are: 1) Sending out “Your Manuscript has been Accepted” emails.  This is So. Much. Fun. Serving on study section, you never know what’s funded and what’s not, so there’s a lot more immediate gratification here. Of course, my lab thinks I’m a […]

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Prevent the Email Faux Pas That Gets You Fired: Read Send

Rebecca Helton, MA

Did you know that signing an email with “Sincerely” instead of “Best regards” can irrevocably alter your relationship with a colleague?  Or that “please” and “thank you” can be anything but polite? Although it’s now almost five years old, Send remains an invaluable guide to emailing appropriately to staff, superiors, friends and relatives.  Oh, and […]

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I'm the Problem: My Generation's Addiction to Bibliometrics

The Edge for Scholars

Publication-based measures of scientific impact provide little of value to the research community. Despite assertions that bibliometrics can improve the evaluation of scientists and their establishments, we lack a qualitative or quantitative argument that substantive problems were solved following their introduction. I am unconvinced that hiring, tenure, or promotion decisions became more accurate after journal […]

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