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Publications

Postby Jim Fells » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:04 pm

I am near end of a 2nd postdoc (2 yrs) in US. Before that, I worked almost 1 year as a voluntary postdoc (I am not a US citizen). I completed masters and PhD in US, with one publication in each of those programs. Masters topic was on a different subject (>30 citations), but PhD publication is in a very low impact journal with practically no citation (reasons: lack of funding+ junior faculty/Asst. Prof. as advisor). I should get one more publication from PhD. I sent the corrected manuscript in 2010 to the advisor. But, no reply yet. I tried to remind him 2-3 times, but he replies to other stuff and avoid any communication regarding the paper. In addition, he recently moved to the industry. So, I guess, that will be the end of hopes for publishing the paper. Fast forward to my 1st postdoc experience, the advisor sent me a draft of the paper (which was not complete when I left) 2 years back. His intention was to publish it very fast. About 1 year ago, I asked about the paper update and got the reply that it is ready for sending to the journal. After that no update. Right now, I am writing 2 papers for publication from the 2nd postdoc. It might take some time for publication especially with the revisions and possible rejections (if any). My contract will end on August, though my advisor wants to keep me, he didn't got any grants. So, I need to find a new postdoc. My question is: 1) Is it okay to apply for a postdoc job at this stage or do I need to get the two papers published and then apply? If I choose the latter, then possible immigration and visa problems could affect me.

Thank you for your comments.
Jim Fells
 
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Re: Publications

Postby Rich Lemert » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:47 pm

I need to find a new postdoc.


Remember that a postdoc is a means to an end, and not a goal itself. Are you just assuming you need another postdoc, or have you actually tried getting a permanent position?


Is it okay to apply for a postdoc job at this stage or do I need to get the two papers published and then apply?


If you wait until your papers are published before sending out applications, you'll guarantee that you won't soon get another position. That might still happen if you start applying now, but there's also the chance that you will get another position. Why would you want to throw away something that's in your best interest?
Rich Lemert
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Re: Publications

Postby Jim Fells » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:20 am

Thanks for the reply.

Are you just assuming you need another postdoc, or have you actually tried getting a permanent position?


No, I haven't tried for a permanent position. I am only looking for academic positions. For that, I need at least 15-20 publications in medium impact journals or 1 very high with 3-4 medium impact publications. You could say that it depends on luck. I don't believe in it. With my publication status, I might be competitive to apply for another postdoc.

Why would you want to throw away something that's in your best interest?


I am not throwing away anything. The persons who get interviews for TT position in our University (not in the first 100s in University rankings), had at least 6-7 years of postdoc with an average publication record I quoted above. I don't want to spend my time and energy to apply for something with very low probability of getting an interview.
Jim Fells
 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:37 pm

Re: Publications

Postby Jenny Z. » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:50 am

I don't know what field you are studying. 15-20 publications for a TT position, that seems very high. I'm working with plants and it is not possible to get results very quick.
Jenny Z.
 
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Re: Publications

Postby Jim Fells » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:31 pm

Thanks for the reply
I don't know what field you are studying


Biological Science
15-20 publications for a TT position, that seems very high.


Recently, I applied for a postdoc position in California. It was my boss who forwarded the position as he knows the person well. I got reply from the PI that "I received applicants with >5 publications and offered to one of them". Believe me, this lab is not the best in the country nor is the University. The minimum rent near the place is >$1500/1 bed room apt and the salary offered is $39000 (!Impressive). So, if people are frantically competing for a position like this, then 15-20 publications seemed reasonable for a TT position. There may be outliers, i.e. people who get selected by underhand methods.

It may be a different world with plants.

Also, it may be good to aim high to end up with at least 7-10 publications.
Jim Fells
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:37 pm

Re: Publications

Postby Rich Lemert » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:51 pm

So, if people are frantically competing for a position like this, then 15-20 publications seemed reasonable for a TT position. There may be outliers, i.e. people who get selected by underhand methods.


You might be correct in saying that 15-20 publications are needed for a position in your field, but I would be very surprised. I think you are putting too much weight on publications. No one is going to be impressed, for example, if all those papers are just what I call "table fillers" - i.e. their only value is to measure a parameter that's going to be listed in a table in a handbook.

There are many other factors that go into the selection of a candidate - none of which are in the least "underhanded". I suggest that you start considering these by looking up Kelly Suter's posts in this forum on "fit". There are many examples of people with fewer publications - but better 'fit' - getting preference over people with what appear to be better credentials.
Rich Lemert
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