Friday, August 17, 2012

Paper!

After a two year gestation period, the second paper will be out next week, first online, then in hard-copy format. It's being published in PNAS. Those in science will know what a big deal it is to be even entertained by PNAS. Being entertained is not enough coz then it undergoes reviews, re-reviews and the verdict of the chief editor and editorial committee. I was not sure till last week which way it's gonna go, but luck or some such stuff has tilted in our favour.

Among the papers PNAS publishes in each issue, it highlights a few that the editorial board thinks might be of special importance and/or special interest to the readers. Our paper has been shortlisted for that! It feels doubly awesome coz it means it fares well on the scale of academic as well as popular science. It's a double whammy for me and the co-author.

Six years' work has gone into this. Experiments went on for three years. I did my first experiment in March 2006 and the last one in April 2009. Simultaneously, I was analysing data, which is one of the most uncertain periods. You toy with a lot of stuff, don't really understand what's happening, and which one to choose (statistics in my opinion is like a departmental store where even the most ardent shopaholics will feel depressed by sheer number of options available). This went on for about a year. This was followed by writing the paper. The first draft of the paper was written in February 2010. We must have worked on at least 30-40 drafts of the manuscript. We submitted the final draft to PNAS in March 2012. After revisions, and re-revisions, we finally submitted it in July 2012.

I always get conscious about celebrating my victories. However this process has been hard and had more lows than highs. So I think I deserve it, and this feeling of entitlement makes me less careful about me projecting my happiness on to the world. I am hoping it makes you feel good about this too.

I want to be anonymous on this blog, so obviously I won't be posting the paper here. However, I will be glad to send a personal copy to whoever wants to read. Just leave a comment. If you want to deny me the pleasure of feeling important :) , you can search for it on the internet with my name.

12 comments:

Sandeep Menon said...

Congratulations....You do deserve it...every bit of it. All that hard work and so many days of sheer bewilderment and finally another of your papers in such a prestigious magazine. Soon we'll find Dr.A's paper in 'Nature'...Looking Forward to that day.
Even though I may not know too much about the social life of Hymenopteraes, do post in the paper. Best of Luck for your future endeavors.

A said...

Thanks for the encouraging words buddy! Nature ka to pata nahi, par us calibre ka kaam karne ki koshish zaari rahegi...Tereko 'social life of hymenopterans' ye phrase pata hai, isiki khushi hai :) Awesome! It will take a few weeks for it to come out...

Hope life's going great! Keep in touch...Don't disappear like you usually do ;D :P

A said...

btw, looking at the time stamp of your comment, it is obvious that the kid is making sure of the late nights!

Rathchakra said...

congratulations & jubilations! truly a 'marathon' effort. I will sip a fizzy apple drink on your behalf to celebrate this.

A said...

Don't forget some dosas and jam to go with it :D

Thanks! I've talked quite a lot about this with you, hopefully the final product lives up to it.

A said...

Lives upto it = you finding it interestin

Rathchakra said...

I am positive I will, things that I have no knowledge in interst me a lot and you have been patient with my ignorance. I am waiting for my personal copy Doctor ( using it this time not in jest but with respect).

A said...

Bhej diya.

Anonymous said...

Too braggy a post.

A said...

I know :)

Anonymous said...

On the contrary I feel you haven't bragged enough A.

I can only assume that anonymous perhaps is unaware of the magnitude of a paper in PNAS or appreciate what it represents.

So proud of you A.

BM

A said...

Thanks sweetheart!