I probably complain more than I should…Yesterday I was having this conversation with a dear friend and colleague about a paper she is writing. I found out that she was being persuaded to come up with an appealing title, something more bombastic as her supervisor mentioned. There is nothing wrong with that, after all I am always saying that scientists are very dull when it comes to communication. But it is also very important to be accurate and rigorous, especially as far as science papers are concerned. In this case she was compromising accuracy just to have a sound bite! That is not fare…
This conversation made me realize once again the good and the evil about impact factors and the need to have an audience. Today is not only about publish or perish, today is about publish, publicise it and get cited!
I am not saying that I don’t suffer from this publish madness, I was brought up with it. I belong to this generation of researchers that use research gate, google Scholar, slideshare, researcherId, Scitable, wordpress and Behance, twitter, facebook, goodreads and prezi to precisely publicise my work or is it myself? Sometimes we need to sit down and make a self evaluation of what all this really means.
Personally I prefer to communicate with very specific audiences. The people that can benefit from what I have learned during the course of a research project. Most of the time that does not equate to a paper, most of the time that is talking to the right people at the right time or presenting results in an informal but engaging way. Maybe that is why I use all these networks. Maybe I am using precisely these tools of the internet age to exorcise the paper age. Or maybe this is just an excuse…whatever it is there is one thing we need to keep doing and that is being accurate and rigorous!