Science Writing

ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

So you want to go freelance?

My first step toward freelancing was moonlighting. Actually, it was the unintended result of interviewing for a staff job as a medical writer but being offered a consultant contract instead of a full-time position. Not knowing if it would work out, I kept my “day job” while I completed my first projects. I made the jump three months later when it seemed that my work was well-received and I continued to get writing assignments.


lisaraenae@mac.com

Lisa
Sproul Hoverman

Reinvention

“I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention”. 

- John Le Carre, MI6 Spy-turned-Novelist


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

How I got into freelance writing: An unintended consequence?

We've all been there. It's Sunday afternoon and the feeling of dread hits. Tomorrow is Monday and it's the start of another work week. I'd been working at a medical communications agency for about 3 years doing medical writing and publication planning. I was their one and only in-house PhD. It started out as one of the best jobs ever; great people and great work. Then came a reorganization followed by a bit of turnover. Things quickly descended from paradise to purgatory, with every sign pointing downhill from there.


tony_fox@hotmail.com

Tony
Fox

Just Do It

Nike did indeed precede me in establishing the title phrase of this blog.  However, it is a statement that we should remind ourselves to obey.  Several ideas and goals have been known to come and go simply because they are not pursued.  What exactly does a person have to lose when attempting to achieve a goal?  Failure may occur and setbacks are bound to happen, but the rewards gained by undergoing the personal challenge far outweigh the obstacles.


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

The manuscript? It can't possibly be that bad!

What's been happening with that manuscript in your pub plan? First draft written – Check; two rounds of review and revision – Check; approval by the pub steering committee – Check; formatted for the journal style – Check; submitted online as an original research article – Check; editor's decision received - check. Finally! You've been logging in to the journal website every day for a while now to follow the status of your article and checking your email carefully.


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

To postdoc - or not?

OK, I've made "postdoc" into a verb. Sorry about that, but the question remains "does one need to do one?”  The key to considering a postdoc as an optional first step rather than a logical or expected first step is in deciding what your long term goals are before you decide on a postdoc. I’m reminded of a cartoon of an urban “prophet” dressed in a white robe and carrying a sign that says “the end is near.” A man in a business suit is asking him “yes, but what are your goals?” I can’t insert it here because it’s ©, and I don’t have permission.


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

Do you have a reference for that?

When was the last time someone asked you that question? I guess it's the researchers' equivalent to the otherwise common questions of "how do you know?” or “who told you that?” So what did you answer? 


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

Get it write….

PhDs in science all spend many hours at the bench doing research to get results that will either confirm or reject their research hypothesis. They write, defend and revise a thesis. On the way, and as soon as possible afterward, they publish their research and its significance. Staying in academia has been said to be a matter of “publish or perish.” In this, and some forthcoming blogs, I’ll write on my views of how to get your stuff published. 


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

La Défense - Onward and upward

Speaking of milestones - the oral PhD defense is one of them - and regardless of your project management skills, it’s one deadline that is likely to go wooshing by you several times. Too many variables for the best of statisticians to account for and too many to construct a research protocol without any amendments before completion.


ceweinber@yahoo.com

Clement
Weinberger

What’s in a word?

Think about the last publication manuscript that you submitted on a journal website. You entered the type of article, title, author information, abstract and the manuscript files. Then there’s the other stuff that took longer than it should to figure out. I’m talking about the “names of four proposed referees” and “five keywords separated by semicolons.” Did they also ask for names of people you didn’t want to review the manuscript? I never bothered with that because I thought I might as well upload a “send” button along with those names for the editor to click when he saw them.