In particular, I would like to focus on CS Theory conferences like STOC or FOCS.

I am interested in the presented topics and, of course, it would be useful to learn more about it for potential graduate research. But on the other hand, one can always read the presented papers when they are published. It seems that the most important part of conferences is networking, however, I do not see myself being efficient in networking at this point yet.

A postdoc has published some works that I am interested. I have some questions about the work, and I would like to share some idea about the topic.

Is it considered polite to send the email to the postdoc and CC his PI? If I email the PI only, I might have to wait for a long time. However, the postdoc could not even be in the city. So I am not sure what is the best and politest practice.

We are submitting an “application of A to B” kind of paper, to a conference in B. There are a big overlap between A and B communities, and we are the N-th (N > 100 or even 1000) to find an application of a technique in A for a problem in B.

The problem: one reviewer obviously has no background in A, and gives us “reject” because he thinks the presentation of the method is confusing, and “terminology and notation are not defined sufficiently clearly for a non-initiate to be able to follow”. He also gives detailed comments, but they are technically wrong, and easy to answer.

Due to space limit, we do not provide formal definitions for basic concepts in A, these definitions can be found in countless textbooks and surveys. Therefore, his overall comment is somewhat correct, in the sense that our paper is not for “a non-initiate”, we assume the readers have basic background in A (he explicitly asked about some basic notations in the detailed comments).

But this is the only reason for rejection, and we think it is very unfair. Other reviewers have no problem understanding our paper, and one even lists “well-written” as our strong points. However they only give “weak accept”, so it’s likely that nobody will champion for us.

Our goal is not to offend this reviewer. We want him to be happy while accepting that he is wrong. I intend to say something like the following: “we partially agree that this paper is not for every one, as we assume readers are familiar with standard notations in A. However, we believe that there are readers with background and interest in the B community”. Possible problems:

  • This implies he doesn’t have background in A (which is true). But he does not admit that, and we are afraid he may feel insulted?
  • As his details comments are technically wrong. We want to make a short “No” in the answer of each comments, following by an explanation. This can show our firm answers. But we are afraid that too many “No”s will make him upset?

So my question is: how should I effectively answer this reviewer.

I have a question. I graduated from an UK university with 2.2 (53), and now I am thinking to apply for PHD. My study area is Drama Studies. I am an international student and I have funding, I am not going to apply for any funding. I dont have any work exprience.

Do you think is it possible to get a PHD offer from any university?
Thank you for your answers.

I download the pdfs of the articles that I want to read and keep them in separate folders according to their category. For example, I have some papers in a folder called “Object Tracking” and others in a folder called “Action Recognition”. Inside these folders, I name the files using the following convention:


For example if the author’s name is Jack Jones and he published a paper at CVPR in 2014, the file name would be: Jones17_CVPR. I also use Mendeley to organize and store the metadata of all my papers.

Do you think that this file naming convention is appropriate for storing a large number of papers? Or is file naming not relevant at all if I’m using a reference manager like Mendeley?

This question already has an answer here:

I wonder if anyone has any answers to this? I am quite worried! I submitted my manuscript to a top international relations journal and it went through the usual admin checks and one day went to ‘awaiting referee selection’. The next day it went to ‘awaiting decision’!

I wonder if they made an error and decided to now make an editorial decision instead of sending it out for review? It seems to have skipped ‘awaiting referee assignment’ -> ‘awaiting referee scores’.

Any info would be most helpful! Thank you!

Clarification: the person in question is not offering to work for credit. On the contrary, he had previously stated he expects to be listed as an author regardless of whether he contributes in any way. The quote is from a subsequent exchange where he felt perhaps his demands were too draconian and so he’s justifying it with services that are neither required nor desired from him. Being the immediate superior, he has the right to view the paper and, whether the authors want it or not, he can claim he proofread it and so deserves authorship. He doesn’t want to deny his boss of an authorship opportunity and so he is demanding two tag-alongs. So the real question is: how many levels up the chain of command is one expected to offer free authorship? I am used to one: the last author who is recognized as having created the opportunity for the other author(s) and so that would be the contribution. Anything beyond that should not be an entitlement but should be for actual contributions.

——— Original question below ———

We are a very small group that received a research grant approximately three years ago. For roughly the first year and a half no relevant paper was generated. I joined about a year ago and published the first paper aligned with our grant and I have a few more manuscripts in review so I’ve been somewhat productive. The other two postdocs (one hired a year before me and the other a couple of months after me) haven’t published any relevant work and don’t have anything relevant in the immediate timeline and so there is concern that our grant may be in danger of being terminated.

To address this concern, the group director hired someone from a lab who agreed to visit on a part-time basis to lead the research effort since we are actually part of a teaching institution with little mandate or infrastructure for research. Because I actually have a steady stream of submissions in the pipeline and am actually generating output — and possibly because he is seeking to build his resume — he wanted to be included in my submissions even if he didn’t contribute in any way. His argument was that:

As a rule…you should add XXX (as the director of YYY) and myself (as Scientific Advisor and your supervisor) as co-authors on all your papers. The feedback and review on the paper (as proofreader or otherwise) and the comments provided constitute enough of a scientific contribution to warrant authorship, not to mention quality control, accurate acknowledgment of the work & grants, proper framing of the story, and relevant missing citations.

I tend to be fairly nice about including folks in my manuscripts: I’ve included folks either because (1) they’ve earned it (by making some substantive contribution) or (2) I felt generous and wanted to give them some exposure. What I feel a bit queasy about is when someone demands authorship for what amounts to non-scientific help, such as proofreading, quality control, etc. Sure, those things can be substantial but they can also be negligible. My experience has been that those sort of help would happen in an exchange sort of way (“I’ll proof your paper if you’ll proof mine.”). I’m good with adding on the funding author as last author — as is the convention in my discipline — but, adding an author who doesn’t contribute any substance yet feels entitled, is a bit difficult…not to mention possibly unethical.

Any thoughts on this?

I have a difficult situation about limit of absences during classes in my university.

Teacher of one subject made a rule that 3 absences with disrespectful reason during course leads to fail grade. I’ve exceeded this limit because of my part-time job that I need to perform in order to pay for my education.

One (and almost the only) respectful reason is illness that I need to prove using medical certificate from a doctor. Teacher asked me to show certificate. Obviously I don’t have it.

However, I did all the tasks and presented them.

Now I have a dilemma:

Try to forge the document about illness OR try to explain my situation about work.

Each option is a risk. Risk of forgery is obvious. And risk of trying to explain my situation is that teacher can say that he doesn’t care about that, and then forgery will be impossible – I will automatically fail the course.

What should I do in this situation?