Monthly Archives: June 2008

Do co-authors really make you more productive?

They make research much more fun. And for me, they lead to better papers. But do they lead to more papers? I am not sure. Sometimes, things just take longer.

When I first started out

I was sure that I was the only one doing ‘last minute work,’ writing the reports as late as possible, giving papers to discussants at the last possible date, writing lectures close to the wire, etc. But now I realize that the people doing stuff early are the uncommon ones.

How I write reports

  • Read the manuscript and start thinking seriously about what is going on in the paper. This step may take all morning.
  • Step away from the task to get my unconscious thinking seriously about the issues.
  • Read the manuscript really carefully, with a file open making notes/comments for the report.
  • First pass write of the first part of the report–the paper summary and my overall comments on the paper.
  • Edit my notes into a numbered list of specific comments.
  • Edit the overall report.
  • Write the recommendation letter and submit the report.

The entire thing takes me two days or so. Too long, I suspect, given how long my refereeing queue is.

I am not dead, but life–at work and away from work–has been a bit overwhelming over the last few months. But things have settled down again.