I’m currently preparing a paper for publication and so trying to construct the figures. I’m finding it more difficult than making figures for a report mainly because journals expect one figure file for each figure, regardless of whether it contains subfigures or not. This leads to some problems/hurdles:

  • I can’t use LaTeX’s subfig package, so I have to manually place an (a), (b) and (c) on the figure and keep track of the caption if the ordering of these changes.
  • Journals’ rules about figure submission vary quite a lot, some can take pdfs, some want vector graphics, others raster.
  • I have to somehow merge the output from various programs into a single file; for example diagrams made with Tikz make up the same figure as a graph plotted with python’s matplotlib.
  • With having to merge subfigures in such a way, my workflow becomes quite convoluted if I have to modify one of the subfigures, and then regenerate the single figure file.

With all of this in mind, I wondered whether the academic community of Stack Exchange had any tips/techniques/workflows for best practice when it comes to preparing figures. This isn’t a topic that comes up much in training, lectures, and so on, but to me it seems silly that most people I’ve met have had to just find their own way of doing things without really being able to build on the experience of others.


Message to mods: when I wrote the title of this question SE told me “The question you’re asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed”, but I’m hoping it stays up for the following reasons:

  • Where else can we get such a large community of academics to input answers to such a question, and have it so easily accessible?
  • I couldn’t find a similar resource anywhere else.
  • It’s not a topic usually covered in undergrad before people move into academia, most people have to learn it on-the-job.
  • I thought there might be people on here who work for publishers who could
    give valuable contributions.
  • The answers could act as a survey of academics.
  • The question could serve as a community resource.

I’m starting a lecturer position in Computer Science in the UK, which is roughly equivalent to a tenure-track assistant professor position. However, the department head told me that, while they do provide some support for conference travel, they do not offer any kind of startup package and we are expected to acquire our own grant funding to hire postdocs etc.

  • Is it the norm that new faculty members do not receive any kind of startup support in the UK?
  • If yes, how do new faculty members start building up their career? (I would love to continue devoting all of my time to research, but I will have some teaching obligations which will certainly lower my individual research output.)

I’m still a PostDoc in Canada for a few months and my supervisor is as puzzled as I am about this information.

Background: The UK university is part of the Russell Group, which is a self-selected collection of UK universities that are (supposedly) the most research-active.

Edit (Regarding Teaching Load): I have a 1+1 teaching load (reduced to 1+0 in the first year) but I was told that, in the UK workload model, one also has other obligations such as tutorial classes, taking on several project students, and master thesis supervisions. These students are being assigned to me and their projects are not necessarily related to my research.

The Journal “Scientific Reports”, published by the Nature publishing group, is gaining popularity with time (impact factor now around 5.2). It highlights its editorial policy as one that is focused on scientific rigour and validity, rather than perceived impact.

My question is: how well regarded is this journal in the academic community compared to other more-traditional ones, especially in the physical sciences and engineering? Also, does the fact that it imposes article processing charges and publishes only open-access articles reduce from its perceived rank as a journal? Is its high impact factor a result of these factors, or is it actually due to high quality articles published in it? Many researchers know that some well-regarded specialist journals might have relatively low impact factor, but their reputation is still top-ranked. Say, for example, that I have a paper in physics or engineering, and I could either publish it in a specialised Physical Review or IEEE journal versus Scientific Reports, which one would be more well-regarded (assuming the first two have less impact factor than Scientific Reports)?

I am taking over the position of program director for a relatively new PhD program, at a college which has only one PhD program (mine).

The students are generally mid-career public health types, all are post-masters.

I’d like to expose them to something about the “meaning’ of the PhD, its history, roots, something like that…. I remember in my program we got a lecture about the monks in medieval times, protecting knowledge and books, something like that. It had quite an impact on me at the time (long ago now).

Does anyone have any ideas about a resource, perhaps readings or other media, that I could assign to them which might instill this same value?

im a communications enginnering undergraduate in London south bank university and was asking is it possible to get exempted from masters and jump to phd program directly in Europe
. my gpa is 3.9 on 4 scale
. I have finished 30 percent of master courses self study and I still have one more year expected to be finished with 70 percent of master courses
. the circulium of masters that i finished will be noted in the recommendation letters by my professors