Monthly Archives: April 2007

Subservise, not submissive

A nice tutorial on using subversion for version control: Subversion mini tutorial | Jan Erik Moström

I have never used a formal version control system for manuscripts, replying instead on the ‘ms_v1, ms_v1.1, ms_v2, …, ms_accepted’ type system. But errors always creep in, and I have had some close calls. Right now, we email versions back and forth, causing me to use my email system like a file cabinet.

Perhaps a more formal system will help. We’ll see.

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Visualization methods

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods


swissmiss: A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Talk suggestions

Giving an Academic Talk

Greg Mankiw’s Blog: Good Advice

Here is one place I screw up in class

When you look at your laptop screen, your audience will be distracted; they’ll neither hear what you’re saying nor see what you want them to look at. Try to place your laptop screen where you can’t see it.

Damn that tablet pc!

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Can you have too many co-authors?

I think so. It’s like the Laffer curve – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Adding a few co-authors increases productivity (and the fun in writing papers), but at some point, adding more  co-authors decrease team productivity.

I general, I prefer writing with a co-author or two.

(aside: How did Laffer know the curve was continuous and globally concave?)

Useful advice

APS Observer – Twelve Tips for Reviewers

via: Academic Productivity » 12 tips on how to review journal articles

I especially like the last point: be willing to stand behind your words. I have seen situations in which the reviewer does not do that. People can guess, anyway.

#11 is good too–always make a recommendation. Don’t be wishy-washy.

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Canadian, eh

via: Canadian expatriates blog


Testing using a new blogging tool.

Interesting video about online journals

via: Casting out nines

Right now, the major journals in my field all put pdf’s of accepted papers up on the web for all to download. The only time you need the actual paper copy is during the time window between pdf at the journal website and the appearance at jstor.

It is not clear exactly what value the publishers are adding over the professional societies that do the editing/refereeing/gatekeeping anyway. Although the publishers control the old content, and presumably jstor.

I understand that the publishers are doing some cross-subsidization among journals. But that surely will not last long.

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For me, the hardest part

of writing a paper is writing the first paragraph. Once I get going, it flows.

I have never written a paper that did not require extensive rewriting of the first paragraph.


I used to jump on tables when I taught. I am calmer now, but not much.

ext337: Presenter tips

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