Monday, March 24, 2008


I actually feel like I am finally moving with things. I am working on the artery project each day. I am still slowed down by the courses I must teach as I need to do significant catch-up for one that requires 4-5 hours of relearning/review per topic for 10 topics before I begin my first lecture in about 20 days. So if I do a topic a day I’ll be ahead, but that does not always happen.

I had a dilemma with the conference coming up because I haven’t been able to start on the work for it. So I will present a related research project that builds to what I was originally going to present. Since it hasn’t been accepted for publication, it’s totally fine. If accepted I’ll site the conference publication as the journal version is a much longer paper (the conference papers are to be no more than 8 pages in Word—remember that includes equations and introduction and abstracts and results and pictures). So I’m just going to enjoy myself next week at the conference. This will be the first of 4 conferences that will be at a different venue for me—the BOE Conference Center. It’s a Bank.

Instead I’ll use the paper I wanted to present as another journal submission.

I’ve also resubmitted all papers that were returned to me. There is only one paper (out of the four) that I have not received back, so we’ll see what happened to it. I decided to submit to a journal that my ex-advisor sits on. I simply asked the head editors not to sent it to him. If they felt they must, I asked them to return it to me to submit elsewhere. So we’ll see. It takes so long to get these papers back.

My supervisor is not happy about math tutoring, but it seems he doesn’t mind if the extra non-research work is from his group or department. So we have been asked to mentor or supervise undergraduate 4th year projects. So I suggested some projects from flow around a missile to HIV work to hydrocephalus modeling to object-oriented programming. So we’ll see what happens. I didn’t go to the meeting with the potential supervised students because it was placed at a time that would have had me running between 3 meetings. I decided to live life slowly so I didn’t go to this meeting (1 o’clock meeting, 1:30 meeting, 2-4 meeting; I skipped the 1:30 meeting).

I just read an article in Nature (January 24th weekly issue) that said the rate of duplication, co-submission, and plagiarism is on the rise since the 1970’s in the statistically sampled field of biomedical sciences. I think you can broadly generalize the results to many fields. The article is titled “A Tale of Two Citations” if you would like to read it. It stated that duplication (where you write a paper that someone else already wrote), co-submission (submit the same paper to multiple places), and plagiarism (duplication where you copy your own work [self-plagiarism] or copy someone else’s work and duplicate it and then submit it without citation) have risen. In 2002 an anonymous survey found that out of 3,247 US biomedical researchers 4.7% admitted to repeatedly publishing the same results and 1.4% admitted to plagiarism. So the US National Library of Medicine says that less than 1,000 cases of duplication occurred since the 1950’s. If the anonymous survey is true, out of 17 million papers, you would expect something closer to 800,000 cases. So it’s very possible all these cases are not being found in the Medline (the primary biomedical citation index). It’s interesting, but the article goes on to use automated computational software that scours through paper listings and abstracts and shows a higher number of duplications, co-submissions and plagiarism than is caught by the Library of Medicine. It makes me realize that would I had thought happens in science really is happening. And this is just the blatantly unethical practices. Many people don’t feel they are plagiarizing but often slightly change one thing that someone did so they can then publish it. Professors I have worked with do this or change the name of a method that someone else did and publish it. People become famous through such techniques. And it really points to the undue amount of pressure on American researchers (especially) to “publish or perish.”

I’m applying for an HIV grant later this year, so I’m reading about 5 papers a week or so as I seek to see if anything has been done and what the limits of current thinking are so that I can think unlimitedly. I suppose I already am thinking that way. So it’s not fully necessary for the reason of creativity.

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