You just do that now

Dec 02 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers]

It seems like every year in this job there is something else that "you just do now". It may not be in the same sense of turning 40, but it's not all that different either.

The teaching and research goals are fairly obvious and then there's the service. I don't really mean departmental and university service - I try and keep those as close to the acceptable threshold as possible - but research service.

A little while back I organized a local research conference for 120 people. Why? Because that's what you do now. I review a lot of grants and papers and put my name up for review panels at NSF for a similar reason, although these help me as well.

I'm now in my forth year and facing a new task: Associate Editor. I've been asked to serve as AE by an incoming editor of an important journal in my field and even though I need the extra work like a kick in the teeth, it's one of those things that you do now.

I have no idea how this is going to go, but hopefully I won't need ten Aleve a day.

5 responses so far

  • lylebot says:

    An Asst. Prof. can't really say no to an associate editorship, I think, unless it's a fourth-rate journal. I feel fine about declining program committee invitations these days (I have plenty of them on my CV already, and I still do more than my fair share), but I can't yet say no to organizational or editorial invitations.

    I actually prefer editorial roles to writing reviews, though. I can editorialize much more efficiently than I can review 🙂

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Nam, you're playing the dude who yells "Don't jump!" as someone is halfway to the ground. I asked a lot of people and about 75% said it's important and the other 25% avoid it at all costs. What can I say? I'm not that bright.

    I plan to scale back on reviewing for other journals, especially some smaller one. There's only so many hours in the day.

  • Namnezia says:

    All I know is that people have had negative experiences with this. And I don't think it will help much with tenure. But it might make you some friends (who might write you good letters), so it might help in the networking sense. But the hit on your time might not be worth the benefit you get. In any case, as you said, its too late to change your mind.

    And I agree with lylebot, writing review articles is a pain in the ass and waste of precious time. Unless you can write superprolifically (which I can't do).

  • FCS says:

    +1 on Namenzia's comments. I just finished a brief AE stint and all I can think about are all the research papers I could have been writing instead. Thankless, insanely time-consuming job. (i.e., yes, you have an army of reviewers, but then you have to read each review and the entire paper carefully, and write your AE report. If you're doing this for a high-submission journal it is teh suck).

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