Monday, February 1, 2010

Better than finding $20 in an old coat

Yesterday I was going through old folders on my computer and pretending to organize things when I found something I couldn't place. I organize my "papers" folder by each manuscript and there was a subfolder that I couldn't match with anything I had published. I opened it up and found a manuscript I had been working on back at Postdoc U, which had gotten lost in the shuffle of getting a job offer, writing grants, moving and starting a new lab. Now, almost two years later it was just sitting there unloved in almost complete form. It's got figures, a reference section and even a title page. It appears that the discussion just needs to be shored up a bit and I can slap a stamp on it.

Now, for those of you wonder what the fuck is wrong with me that I could lose an almost complete manuscript for a couple of years, it's a minor piece that will end up as a note in a specialty journal. It's not like I'm sitting on a glamor pub here. I had thrown it together as an afterthought when I was a postdoc, then life ensued and within three days of one another I had a new baby and a job offer. Things got a little busy and there wasn't a whole lotta sleep happening. When I did regain an awareness of my surroundings I started working on a grant proposal to start a totally novel research program and I had to negotiate the terms of my job. Chaotic times.

I contacted Postdoc Advisor and let him know about it. His first reaction was "If you need the solo pub, take me off the paper and include my grant in the acknowledgements". As much as I appreciated that sentiment and his offer, I am not completely cool with removing the name of the person who provided all of the resources for the project. Maybe it won't count towards tenure, but I don't see that as a valid reason for removing him. Afterall, it was entirely done in his lab, so it shouldn't count as something I've accomplished here. We've bounced a few things back and forth yesterday afternoon and I can probably finish it this weekend and get it out the door.

Nice surprise during a week I could use it.


  1. Outstanding, PLS! And I couldn't agree more with how Postdoc Advisor and you handled the authorship situation - to me, there could have been no other way (despite his offer).

  2. Ha! That really is better than a $20 in an old coat.

  3. Good show. Will it count towards tenure? At my place anything published after you become TT counts, including ex-postdoc stuff...

  4. Wow! Never heard that one before. Nice surprise!

  5. I think this might even be better than finding $100 in an old coat! Okay...maybe not. :-)

  6. I have no idea whether it will count towards tenure, but frankly, I don't really care. If my file depends on a note in a specialty journal, I am probably fucked anyway.

    It slipped through the cracks when everything in my life got turned upside-down but I'm a bit happy about that now. I didn't need it then when I was cranking out papers. Now, it'll be a nice piece to have in the works.