Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Right To Reply
(Writing A Rejoinder)
So along with the job (visa application underway) I applied for postdoc funding to continue my work at Macquarie. This week is rejoinder week. I had never heard of such a thing until just the week before. Essentially, for those of you like me, this is an opportunity to respond to criticisms halfway through the application procedure.

As it stands, I have received three anonymous reviews on my application. My rejoinder is an essay in which I answer any criticisms in these. This document plays a large part when the final committee meets to decide upon my application. So it's got to be good. It's a shame there are only a few days to do it in. Lucky for me that I got pretty good reviews!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006
A Post(er)
(Preparing for a Conference)

So it was around this time last year that in preparation for taking a poster to Cogsci in Stresa, I took part in our local jamboree. So this year, in preparation for CoLing/ACL in Sydney, I made a poster for the jamboree. Unfortunately, it was being held at Kings Buildings which is a couple of miles south of the office, and I have been really busy this week so only went on the first day.

It wasn't quite as sucessful as last year's jamboree. I put this down to the venue. Not that I have anything against the computer scientists that are forced out of town from the rest of the university (all the scientists are) because I used to be one. It's just that they have such completely different research interests. No vision...that's what it is. Our work concerns language, so fits well in the remit of our group, but within Informatics as a whole, it's hard to generate interest. But we know our work is important so that's what matters.

Of course a lack of feedback doesn't bother me. It is actually Jon who will be taking the poster to Sydney, so if it's rubbish, on his head be it. Of course, I made it, and my name is on it so...well...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Writing a Journal
So yet another thing has been keeping me busy this past week or so. Have been talking with colleagues about doing a paper together for a couple of years now. Based on some of the earlier stuff I did in my thesis and the similar work Alastair did in his. The idea is that by putting them together we show some good support for even earlier work. You know, replicating factors in alternative places. Well, that paper has finally been coming to fruition in the last couple of months. We are not sure where we are going to put it, but it is definitely a journal paper. This of course means it may be some time before it actually sees the light of day.

It is one things that I've come to realise on this academic path: work in journals is not new. For the most part, it can take a very long time to get from initial submission, through the review process, to final publication. They also take longer to write. When you get results it is easy (and highly tempting) to knock up some conference papers. They are shorter, come with a holiday attached, they are more accessible and more current. However, journals carry significantly more weight, and so it is well advised to produce journal papers. Even if you don't get any during the period of your thesis, it is strongly advised that you look to turn your thesis into journal publications. Not least because it doesn't look good to be constantly citing an unpublished thesis, and papers are easier for others to reference.

Journal papers are tough. You are looking at 30-50 pages, as opposed to 6-8 for a conference. And it is particularly difficult communicating between and editing with multiple authors. However, journal papers are well worth the effort...or so I am told!!

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