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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