I have recently been offered an industry position in the US (we live on another continent). My wife is a an academic, with a position roughly equivalent to tenure-track asst professor in the US system. If we move to the US, she would likely take 1-2 years off (she’s too busy right now to go on the job market this round). She has a decent, but not amazing publication record: Google counts 16 publications, 310 citations and an H-index of 9 – this is in applied mathematics. The publications she has are of fairly high quality, but because of various pressures related to childcare and starting her academic position, she hasn’t published much in the last 2-3 years. Her PhD was at a high quality institution (think, Harvard-like but non-US) with a highly regarded supervisor, she did a postdoc at Harvard. She also has very good student evaluations.

So my question is – what would the impact of a 2 year gap be on an application to an academic institution, and how should it be addressed? In answering, I’m most interested in the opinion of people who have been on hiring committees, and I’d like to know whether you’re coming from a research institution or a liberal arts college (or something else altogether).

Issues related to climate change, mitigating it and making humans deal better with its negative consequences are super important to me. I am not an environmental scientist though – I’m an engineer. I have a varied background and experience, which fits in well with a discipline I’m very interested in – robotics. I feel like pursuing a PhD in robotics, researching its application in environmental science would be good for me and for the field(s).

Now, the problem is I don’t know the exact problems (in environmental science) that I could propose to work on in my research proposals. I really want to have a conversation with someone in the field about this, but I don’t know how to go about this. I’m one year out of school now, so it’s not like I can swing by a relevant professor’s office and drop in for a chat. On the other hand sending a “cold-call” email also seems not fully appropriate, because asking “What kinds of problems do you have that can be solved by technology?” seems far too general.

So the question is – what is a good way to acquire this kind of knowledge?

In a published research paper, the author has cited a thesis/paper, which is not available online. The question is, when I’m writing my paper and I need to cite the corresponding unavailable paper/thesis, what should I do? Should I cite the original material even though I haven’t read it? Or the paper that cited the unavailable material, say in its literature review section?

Is it possible to submit two papers to the same conference which are citing each other?

Both papers were accepted and they are both very related, so I think to cite the papers in each other, when submitting the camera ready version. Is this allowed or is it not a good idea?

Is it possible that thesis committee first signs off on a thesis and later discovers some weakness (not plagiarism or academic dishonesty, but weak sections or incomplete tables) and rejects it. I am talking about US and time gap may be a couple of years. The defects found in the thesis do not invalidate the main idea, but are more related to incomplete references and data tables.

As an academic, my papers (I assume) have been cited. But only once do I remember a publisher, on behalf of a writer, contacted me to ask if they could reused (or republish) a chart I had created in one of papers – for a textbook. I gave them my permission and that was the end of it.

Now I am about to publish my first (non academic) book. I still have footnotes with citations, maybe 5-10 per chapter, but it never occurred to me to ask permission, as long as the citation was proper. The only time I asked for permission was when I printed a comic strip by a popular author.

So – for the other citations – do I need to get permission to publish a quote, or a small excerpt? (for instance if a sentence with an industry fact or statistic).

When referencing to another work in a scientific paper, do we cite the paper or its author(s)?

This question is intended to clarify the conjugation of the verb that follows the reference — especially in these cases:

  • One author, two papers:

    Jane Doe (2015a, 2015b) list-s the very specific conditions under which…

    -> lists (singular: referencing to Jane Doe) or list (plural: referencing to both papers)

  • Several authors, one paper:

    John Doe, et al. (2015) claim-s this and that.

    -> claim (plural: referencing to the multiple authors of the paper) or claims (singular: referencing to the single paper).