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Celebrating 100 Papers In Scopus

Celebrating 100 papers in Scopus

I’m celebrating 100 papers in Scopus – although a bit on the late side, as I’m at 112 at the moment of writing. I’ve been hesitating to write this post – it may sound like bragging, or it may sound as if I value quantity in academic publishing. I value quality more than anything else, and I have been working on quite a variety of topics. I used to publish a post on this blog every time I published a new article, but I have stopped doing so a while ago.

With this disclaimer out of the way, join me in celebrating my 100 (and going) publications in Scopus! I like writing, and putting words together into sentences comes naturally to me. Yet, writing after my PhD required quite some organization on my end, as I was on a 3-3-0 course load (not teaching in the summer, as that would be the time I return to Delft for research). My current course load is 1-1-0 in the undergraduate program, I also teach one course in the MEng program here (per run of the program, so not per year), and I’m getting ready to teach more in the Netherlands (now that remote options are possible – I’ll be involved in three courses, one of which I’m the lead instructor).

Here are the things I’ve been doing over the past year to move my publications forward:

  1. Practice writing as a skill. I put time and effort into learning how to write academic English (which is an extra hurdle for someone like me who is not a native speaker). I learned how to structure my manuscripts in a clear way. I learned how to structure text well (one idea per paragraph!), and I looked intently at examples of papers I had enjoyed reading. I also practiced writing a lot by putting myself on a “writing diet“, and developed method to write faster.
  2. Put writing time on my calendar. One of the first things I learned when I was a new faculty member, was how to use a weekly template. In this template, I set aside time for writing, and I planned accordingly. As my work got busier with meetings, I made sure to block time on my calendar for writing, to avoid people shooting in meetings at any time.
  3. Work on topics of my interest with students. I’ve been doing research with my undergraduate thesis students. While there’s a lot to say about the pressure on BSc students to write a journal article, I have in some cases developed a journal article with my thesis students* – and having this experience has helped them tremendously in getting a position for their graduate studies.
  4. Log my work. I let my writing evolve organically. I usually first write a research report on a topic I’m developing, with all my calculations, and assumptions, and no word count restrictions. Then, I take this material and work it into a journal article. I never face a blank page, as I always have material growing gradually in my research, which then turns into writing.
  5. Use a writing pipeline. I plan out my writing: the topics I want to work on, the topics I’m juggling at the same time with various of my students, and the papers that are currently in review. I use a color-coded sheet in which I keep track of my writing projects, and also put my ongoing projects on my monthly task list.

* Note: the BSc program in Ecuador is 9 semesters in length (4.5 years; 5 years in the past).

Here are some strategies I’ve used to turn my research into publications? What works for you, and what doesn’t?

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