IntroductionThis is a little competition just for fun. It is only for my
past/present postgrads and postdocs that are listed below. As you can
see, year by year their ISI citation counts increase. I have put the
winning figure in bold for each year. The rule is all papers by that
candidate are included—even if papers were not written at this
university. The idea is to encourage good writing to occur beyond these
walls. The rules are that I only use ISI as the measure.
prize is $1000 for the person with the most citations at the end of
year 2010. Be aware that even if you are a PhD student that graduates in
2010, you can still be the winner—it is possible to still beat the
older guys...because citations have a certain half-life. I will probably
award the prize every ten years from then on, so if you miss out the
first time you can still catch up.
|Andrew G. Allison||0||0||0||2||6||13||22||29||38||49||60|
|Said F. Al-sarawi||1||6||9||11||32||35||41||55||63||162||184|
|Matthew J. Berryman||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||21||32||39|
|Frederic D. R. Bonnet||0||2||23||76||161||228||317||360||395||489||528|
|Bernd M. Fischer||0||0||1||8||33||73||151||228||331||621||773|
|Bradley (Brad) S. Ferguson||0||0||0||7||4||96||150||211||283||553||683|
|Adrian P. Flitney||0||0||0||3||12||19||43||65||85||137|| 169|
|Leonard T. Hall||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||3||6|
|Greg P. Harmer||0||3||29||93||126||165||222||275||318||454|
|Mark D. McDonnell||0||0||0||0||5||15||31||58||91||162|
|Samuel (Sam) P. Mickan||0||0||4||13||22||31||41||52||66||151|
|Joseph (Joey) Ng||0||0||0||1||5||9||15||16||20||33|
|Gretel M. Png||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Ajay Chandra Tikka||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Benjamin Seam Yu Ung||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11|
|Withawat (Job) Withayachumnankul||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||21|
|Jiansheng (Jason) Xu||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9|
|Xiaoxia (Sunny) Yin||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||19|
|Shaoming (Sean) Zhu||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
These figures need to be corrected using this formula. This is left as an exercise for the reader. ;)
The Secret of How To Win
The Correct Steps
- Always ask me if you have questions.
- Start writing a paper the day you start your PhD. If you write a
really good review of your topic, it is a good way to start. Ask me for
help in identifying a cute tractable problem that could make a good
early journal article.
- Publish papers as you go along in every year of your PhD. It is a good discipline and makes writing your final thesis easier.
- When your thesis is written and being proof read by me, use that spare time to convert some of your thesis into papers.
upload preprints of your papers either on the Los Alamos ArXiv or NEC
Citeseer or both. This gives your papers visibility. Do this
- When writing a paper, use the introduction to provide a motivating context. So it grabs the interest of the reader.
- When writing a paper the goal is for you to communicate ideas in
the clearest way. It is not to show how clever you are with pages of
obscure stuff that no one can understand. The more people that can understand your paper, the more it will be cited.
- When writing mathematics, always ensure there is plenty of
explanation in English between each mathematical step. Also stay
focussed on communicating the physical picture that the maths brings.
Maths for its own sake is boring. Use it to bring out the physics.
- To improve clarity always make sure the paper is proof-read many
times. Do not rush it. Make sure myself and your other supervisors are
happy with it. Get a friend on the desk next to you to proof read it. It
helps if you use a friend who is not working on a similar topic, who
can tell you if something in your paper sounds odd or unclear. Offer to
proof read other people's papers.
- At conferences make sure you use all the lunch and coffee breaks
for networking and making friends around the world. If you sit in a
corner, you are totally wasting the opportunity of a conference. Swap
emails and make contacts. The more you get known, the more people will
check out your papers. Keep track of all your international contacts by using the LinkedIn web utility.
- Take 50 photocopies of your best 1-2 papers to conferences, and leave them on the brochure desk as a handout.
- Maintain your publication list on your home page. Make an attractive homepage that is clear about what you are working on.
papers do not get ISI citation counts. So the trick is to ensure that
after a conference you take that paper, correct it, extend it, and
submit it to a journal. Use the feedback you got in the conference
to guide you how to improve that paper. A great way to get feedback is
to present a poster and try to engage as many people as possible. Always
build on every conference paper to form a journal paper.
- When there is an international visitor to the lab who is working in
your area, I will usually ask you to do "Show & Tell" on the work
you are doing. This is also a good opportunity to swap references, and give the visitor printouts of your best papers.
- If you get a really cute or exciting result, a good approach is to
publish a short journal letter first to disseminate the result quickly.
Then publish a longer journal article with the full details shortly
after. The idea is that the letter version benefits the scientific
community by getting out quickly. The community can then build on the
idea as early as possible.
- Always submit your papers preferentially to high impact factor journals.
- When your paper is finally published, individually email the pdf to selected collaborators and contacts that you have met at conferences etc.
- Make sure your thesis contains good Appendices with clear details
on what you have done and how to run your Matlab code etc. Properly
comment your code so that others can understand it. This is the way for
you to create a legacy for new PhD students to build on your work,
extend it, and gratefully cite you.
The Correct Attitude
- So when you leave, make sure everything is set up for someone else
to easily continue where you left off. Stay in email contact, and help a
new PhD student who has questions about your stuff. Be patient with
them as you were once a PhD too. You may even find yourself co-authoring
with new PhD students via email collaboration, after you have left.
That also builds your future citation rate.
- Remember: "You can hold more sand in an open palm than a clenched fist."
Some supervisors are into keeping results secret, patenting things, and
not openly sharing ideas, code, and data. As you can see this is not my
philosophy at all. I am into the "open palm" approach, as I believe in
keeping everything flowing. If you do not share this philosophy, then
you are free to leave now and find another supervisor.
- Research knowledge is like manure. If manure is widely distributed
is feeds the plants that grow. If the manure is locked up in a shed it
- Some graduated PhD students do not pass on their stuff to new PhD
students because they are 'embarrassed' that a mistake might be later
found in their work. This is not the correct attitude. A famous case is
that of Claude Shannon: half his thesis was totally wrong and half of it
was brilliant, creating the field of information theory. It is the good
parts we remember him for. If we find a significant mistake in your
work in the future, we will turn it into a positive and write a paper
that corrects the result and invite you to coauthor (provided we know
how to contact you).
- Finally, the biggest secret is to treat the whole thing like a
game. Don't take yourself too seriously. Foremost, you should be having
fun with it all. Hang loose. If you are stiff and take yourself too
seriously, it makes your papers boring and no one will read them.
- It is possible you may be lucky to enough get a great citation rate
by ignoring my above advice. But if you had followed the above advice,
your rate would have been even larger.
- "Claude Elwood Shannon: collected papers," Eds., N. J. A. Sloane and A. D. Wyner, IEEE Press, New York, 1993.
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Citation Competition - Derek