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Topic: PhD life

Frerik van Beijnum Frerik van Beijnum 7 October 2012

Inviting co-authors

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Posted in Ethics, Getting published, PhD life

A problem I often encounter is deciding who to invite as co-authors. On one hand, you want to show appreciation to the people that helped you in the process of obtaining your results. On the other hand, generously adding authors will dilute the contribution of the people that made the largest contribution. In this post I would like to sketch a few hypothetical situations in which someone could be a co-author. The main goal here is to provoke some discussion on this subject, and learn about some good practices.

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Ad Lagendijk Ad Lagendijk 14 September 2012

My group, Your group, or Our group

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Posted in PhD life, politics, Tips

angry gorilla My group, Your group, or Our group

In science the dilemma of either cooperating or competing is everywhere. The situation is never black or white and depends on the discipline. In this post I will limit myself to the typical small-science group model: one group leader, one or two postdocs and a number – typically between 4 and 6, of PhD students.

All the group member are under pressure. PhD students have to finish their thesis in time, with preferably a couple of first-author articles in glossy magazines.

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Frerik van Beijnum Frerik van Beijnum 3 March 2012

Managing PhD projects

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Posted in PhD life, Research and education, Tips

Among physicists “manager” is not the most popular word, albeit that all group leaders are in fact managers. Why this is the case may be more than a blog post on itself, and I do not intend to write that post. Having quite some manager friends, for example in civil engineering or management consulting, I think there is a lot we can learn from them. One thing is the use of Gantt charts, milestones and go/no-go’s. Often people dislike these methods, a representative response is this post from 2008 on this blog.

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Unregistered Mirsumon 21 February 2012

Productivity vs Creativity

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Posted in applied research, Ethics, Getting published, PhD life, Research and education

I am at the last year of my PhD. I started working on a topic which was quite new in the sci community. I also published about 5 articles on that topic and 4 other articles in related topics. Sometimes i had too much pressure to publish my works as it normally happens in a place where you have to maintain a good balance between productivity and novelty of your work (i guess). However, sometimes i feel that i lose my interest to improve my experimental data and losing freedom of thinking about the creativity of the whole work. Sometimes, i also feel that i am running too fast that i dont even care about the trees on the street. Where is the freedom in PhD? How can we learn to be an independent researcher? Hope to have it after the PhD!!!

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