The research hydra

I really should stop writing blog posts in exchange for doing some work, but no matter how self-inflicted my workload is, this is cathartic (and part of my lunch-break). It really does seem that for every project I finish (or finish contributing to) two more spring up (or even three or four) and I am buried right now in half-finished and unsubmitted papers.

While many are on temporary or long-term hold (waiting for contributions from colleagues, access to certain specimens, money or all three) more than enough are ‘active’ enough to keep me going for a couple of years. Which would be fine were it not for the fact that I certainly do not have two free years to get the work done in, and there is plenty on the back-burner that also needs attention. What I need to do is get some of them finished, but that is far easier said than done, and it takes a huge amount of time. You might get something out the door (i.e. submitted) but it will still be there for another year or two until it is actually in print, demanding your time on occasion.

Jerry Harris made the great point that “the hardest thing to learn was when to say no to cool projects”, I just wish he’d told me that a couple of years back.


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