When I started my thesis, my supervisor told me, "At the end of it, you have to get at least two publications out of it."
At the time, I was a little overwhelmed. Two out of one project? Turns out, people (smart ones) can get four or five (or more) out of one project. The key is to publish in reputed journals and conferences. The larger the journal's impact factor, the greater the impact of the publication.
Now, the scene was that a conference came up. It was a cool opportunity. I (to date) have no publication in my name. So of course I decided to try my luck. I wrote the paper like crazy one night (stayed up till God Knows when :S), and completed it. The first draft was then sent off to the supervisor - what satisfaction lays in writing something like crazy and then emailing it off. It's like a burden off your mailbox :p. That done, I got a favorable reply from him the next day. [Man, why don't I come to the point?]. He asked me to include the name of my unofficial supervisor too. Oops. Had completely forgotten. Hurriedly included her name and emailed her the paper too.
She replied with, "Please remove my name from the paper. I don't want to be associated with this conference."
I was astonished. Don't want to publish somewhere? Don't want to? People have that kind of a choice? :D
Anyway, I asked her that if she doesn't mind, could she please tell me her reason? She replied that this conference is jointly collaborated with the country which has till now, not apologized for its permission to publish the cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallalla hu alaihi wasallam).
I was even more astonished.
1) I had no idea this conference was jointly collaborated with that country.
2) I had no idea she would care about this.
I mean, you expect a certain type of people to have this kind of a thinking! Lesson number one: NEVER judge people by their outlook. You never know what goes on in their minds and what values they hold.
This moment was a little ponderous for me.
I mean. Here I am. No publications whatsoever. Beggars aren't supposed to be choosers, right. Eh. But one thought couldn't get past me. What if I am asked about this action on the Day of Judgement? It may seem like the pettiest, smallest, teensiest matter ever. But if you consider the ayahs of Surah Zilzaal :
[Zilzal 99:7] So whoever does a good deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.
[Zilzal 99:8] And whoever does an evil deed equal to the weight of the minutest particle, will see it.
and that was the decision maker for me, at least. Nervously, I emailed my supervisor and explained to him why targeting this conference was not a good idea. And surprise ! He emailed back immediately (even though he had been the most enthusiastic about this conference), and said
"You are right. We will indeed try another conference."
Ain't I happy?
Btw, this another journal accepted my paper. Before I could even jump properly for joy, I had to sit back down. They were charging $300 for it. AND... there is no impact factor.
So I remain, publication-less for now. *sigh of er, ... satisfaction*