Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back from Queensland

Got back last night from our trip to Port Douglas in Northern Queensland with the Snorkparents. Yes, we did see two cassowaries just like these crossing the road in the Daintree National Park. We'd already passed them as they came out of a "concealed driveway" when Snork Maiden spotted the flash of blue color from the corner of her eye. There was lots of other cool stuff. I tried snorkelling for the first time and saw some coral, a fish, a sea cucumber, and a sea slug kind of thing. I found it pretty challenging though. Sooner or later I made some mistake with breathing and had to surface to breath properly. I was managing longer stretches each time so think I need a lot more practice... The others didn't try it or get wet apart from the rain. It rained every day, but then it is a tropical rainforest, even if it was at the beginning of the dry season or end of the rainy season. On the other hand, I felt more comfortable than I ever have in a tropical climate due to the lack of sunshine. At times I even felt a little cold!

Back down south and back to "reality". Another paper I submitted for publication was rejected - par for the course - I still have two out there under review. One referee said they had no idea about the topic, the other said it was great, and the third actually had substantive criticism. So it shouldn't be too much work to get it ready to submit to another journal. OTOH, checking my citations for the week I found I have 8 new articles in the Web of Science citing me for a total of 11 citations. I'm up to about 90 citing articles year to date which is pretty good in my discipline. So getting a paper rejected is less upsetting than it might be if I was a beginning researcher. Of course, when I was a beginning researcher I expected to get rejected and so wasn't so upset by it. If you've ever heard that almost no-one reads any given scientific paper, that is incorrect - the distribution of papers by number of readers and citers is very unequal. Many are never cited and probably little read. Others are very highly cited and read.

Today, I did the "induction course" at my workplace. I did learn some things despite having worked at this university in the past. Some things have changed and some I never knew.

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