Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Paying for Journal Covers

I've been approached by a journal I publish some of my work in, fairly well respected in the field, large publisher, to submit artwork for the cover. They say that I was selected because of the quality of the research. This makes feel very good and appreciated. Then in small print near the bottom of the email is says that if my artwork is selected, I will have to pay over $1000. How common is this? Is this something that is determined by the publisher or by the individual journal? I've only had request for a cover once before, I got the cover that time and that publisher did not ask for any money.

If this is common, then there is a huge bias for large well funded labs to get even more recognition and highlight how awesome they are based on the fact that they or their department/university have money. I don't have $1000 to pay for open access publication, yet alone for cover art. I asked my chair and the college and they don't have money for this.

It's not Science or Nature, no one gets paper copies of middle of the road journals. So I would be paying $1000 to be listed on the front page of their website for about 2 weeks, and then be able to flaunt my cover art on my group's webpage, suggesting my work is awesome, but really it's that I had money to pay to get the cover. Question 2, is this a worthwhile investment of funds for someone going up for tenure soon?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April Rollercoaster

We're (my colleagues) noticing a change in our incoming graduate students. They feel more entitled. I'm a huge advocate for improving working conditions for graduate students and postdocs, but there also needs to be a balance, because after all, at least in engineering, this is a major career advancement opportunity for them and they get out of it what they put in. These folks just work less and complain. We've even had students complain to the dean that too much is being expected of them. I'm talking 60 hour weeks, in my mind this is not unreasonable. Has anyone else experienced this with their new graduate students?

Beyond that, things are again getting better in my little world. I've had a particularly productive few weeks.