Thursday, March 3, 2011

What about reading

I read a lot about how I should set aside blocks of time for writing. But what about reading? Does anyone read after their Ph.D? Occassionally I encounter people that ask me if I've read a particular article from Science or Nature, but what about those other journals. Do PIs read? I'm trying to stay abreast of my field. Am I being too academic? Is this not really what the job is about? There are sometimes 3-4 papers a week related to my work. I find it hard to write grant proposals if I don't know everything about a subject or if there are already people working on very similar projects. My field publishes frequently, several papers per year per trainee. How do people stay on top of these things? I'm a slow but thorough reader. Hints, ideas?
Maybe this is a hint...more and more, I'm seeing repeats of experiments getting published, or related work from multiple groups. Often they don't even cite the related work. I'm not sure if it is worse when they do cite and still get it published. I get some info at the 2-3 conferences I attend each year, but not everyone goes to those, nor do they give all the useful details in a 15 minute talk. I also get some data from the papers I review, but again very limited.

1 comment:

  1. Srsly? I guess it's a two edged thing. Yes, you should read, obviously. But also from conferences and shit you should kinda know what your major competitors/collaborators are working on anyway.