In some job adverts I found something on the lines of (emphasis mine):


Graduate degree in X or PhD in Y with a proven track record in X, ideally with experience in Z. We are looking for a highly motivated scientist to join an interactive, multi-national team at the cutting edge of…

(I know I should ask the OP as they are the only ones to know what do they want to say… but,). What does this “proven track record” mean ?

Does that it mean I should have publications?
Could it be other published work like blogs, programs, discussions, answers in SE traceable back to me if they are related to X?

I’m in a fairly niche field that is still in the process of organizing itself. As such, there are a number of existing professional societies that are spinning off journals along with newer societies that are getting into journal publication. Since some of the usual metrics for judging a predatory journal may not apply, how do you judge the potential of a newer journal so that the publication does not end up being a wasted effort?

I took up an introductory course to forensic science in Coursera, because it was actually the only forensics course I could find that was accessible, however I do wonder if it is worth anything in my CV, as a student it is obviously better than nothing, but is this something good enough to show?
How does it compare to courses completed directly through MIT open courses, or those from another famous university? And if these are assets to a CV, if I go ahead to complete enough for a degree, how does it fare in comparison to the proper degree from the corresponding institution?

The following situation occurred:

  • I was asked to modify a figure (originally published in a paper) to be used in a non-further-determined publication by my professor.
  • I did substantially modify the figure: I redrew the figure from scratch in a vector program, added colours and decoration and made it generally more attractive.
  • Now, half a year later this same figure or graphic appears in a book and just holds the small remark © Name of professor. Neither my name nor a reference to the original figure is given.
  • I checked the general acknowledgements of the book and there is no mention of my name.

My question is: How to proceed from here? Naturally I don’t want to deteriorate the relationship with my employer but I need to raise this issue, especially so that it does not happen again in the future (my professor asks me on a regular basis to draw graphics for him). Should I insist that my name should somehow be included (second edition of the book, online errata etc.)? What would the copyright implications be for a) not mentioning the creator of the graphic (me) and b) not referencing the original work?

Some context:
I work as a research assistant and I am not employed primarily to do these drawings though – when requested – I usually do them in my work time. The book in which the figure appeared is the output of a research institution (though clearly directed at the general public) and I am not sure if the book is to be sold, i.e. if it could be considered commercial use.

Edit: I may not have explained myself well. In my opinion the resulting image is not a mere modification of a figure but a piece of work that requires creativity and year-long practices with a graphics program.

I follow Cross Validated and Stack Overflow and have stumbled upon a list of statistics jokes and programmer jokes. I’m sure we’ve got our own favourite jokes. Care to share?

One entry per answer.

PS. If you’re seeking a serious justification for this question, it’s this: I regularly make presentations to secondary school students, teachers and parents about the value of a post-graduate education. I think some humour would go a long way.

A few professors in National Taiwan University were caught manipulating experimental data in their publications on several prominent journals. They were accused of using the same image in different experiments, and the papers were either retracted by the authors, or being removed by the journals. The case involved researchers as high as the principal of the university, and is did not look like a mistake but a customary crime because the reported problematic papers from the group spans more than 10 years. It is shocking considering the time scale and the positions of the researchers. This kind of plagiarism is especially rampant in Biology, because the experiments are usually difficult to reproduce. How can we avoid reading scientific publications ? What are some key points to spot problematic pictures ?

I am very fond of meta-analyses, both as reader and author. However, journals today publish possibly too many meta-analyses. Accordingly, some editors are considering stopping altogether considering meta-analyses for publication. This has already happened for instance with the New England Journal of Medicine.

A possible means to reduce such redundancy is enforce prospective registration, eg within PROSPERO.

However, I believe some other approaches are needed to protect this research design whilst maintaining its usefulness.

Which other approaches can reduce such risk of redundancy will increasing value and relevance?

I’m a foreign student currently applying to extremely competitive doctoral programs in the US. Recently, one of the professors writing a letter of recommendation sexually assaulted me. I live in a country where things like this, when reported, are usually unpunished and even more difficult for the victim. I’m currently deciding what to do, all while trying to get my applications done and finishing up my last semester of my master’s program. To put it bluntly, my life is currently hell.

Severe trauma and everything aside, I’m really trying not to let this derail my academic career. My question is, would it be possible for me to contact the universities that I’m applying to and ask them if I could submit just two instead of the required three letters of recommendation? With some deadlines less than a week away, I’m worried that this professor might write a bad LOR to try to keep me out of academia, or threaten me with it. Most importantly, it’s too late for me to find another professor to write my letter of recommendation at this point in time (unless I can explain the situation to them, but even then, that would be extremely difficult).

However, I’m also wary of spinning what might seem like a sob story to admissions committees, even though this is not my intention at all. I’m not sure how something like this would be viewed in the US. Please, I would appreciate any advice on this matter.

I completed Master’s in Netherlands in Aerodynamics and I am looking for Ph.D in the field of aerospace in France. In Netherlands & Germany, I can see the available Ph.D offers in University website but I don’t know how to search in France? I really want to stay there!

I see some people in this forum answered to contact professor directly (for example, in What is the process for PhD applications and contacting professors in France?) but I don’t have an Ph.D research question. So, don’t know how to contact them. Can someone tell me how to contact a professor and whom to contact for funding?