Charles Basenga Kiyanda

journal bugs

There’s something that bugs me about journal papers. Something that bugs me deeply, to the point that I really dislike writing papers. Part of it is stems from my personnal interests. I’ve always liked to do puzzle. I like to collect different “mind patience games” (I know this in french as jeux de patience, the translation isn’t obvious to me). Solving these mind-benders always gives me great joy. In a sense, I think I approach science the same way. I like to reach “cute” milestones. They’re like little mind-benders. I don’t really like writing a paper telling people how I managed to get the peg outside of the wooden rings. Therein lies part of what bugs me about writing papers. Nonetheless, there is something else.

†I think part of what bugs me about writing papers, is three-folds:

  1. The rigid structure: You must write a paper in a particular tone. You must write a paper in a succession of sections that are always the same. You must use a general, non-descriptive, pompous title, like “Modelling of couch potato behavior using a stochastic TV model.” If you use a title with a question mark, like, “Do couch potatoes have different social rules?”, you are deemed a heretic. Don’t try to do this before you are 55 and have 25 years of experience in the field.
  2. It has to fit within†x pages: This is less true of journal papers than conference papers. Maybe this just has to do with the rigid strucure.
  3. It takes 2 years to take a paper out: This is just ridiculous. Today, with the internet, there’s simply no reason for a paper to take this long to be published. Just absolutely none.

There are probably other things that bug me about journal papers. I just can’t think of them right now.

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