Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Publish Or Not to Publish

A researcher's biggest dream is to have published their papers in reputed journals, conference proceedings, etc. To attain that dream, they work day and night in order to come up with ideas to enhance and improve existing ones - all to get their research publish-able.

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.

Bummer. :S

So I remain, publication-less for now. *sigh of er, ... satisfaction*

So long!


Mohammad Zafar said...

Assalamu A'alaikum,

Very nice and Inspiring to here all these things Masha Allah, and Nicely presented also Alhamdulillah. No one can predict or presume about anybody's status in the eyes of Allah, and the level of Emaan.

Jazakillah for sharing.

Uni said...

@Mohammad Zafar
Wa'alaikumassalaam Jazakillah for reading and definitely, nobody can ever know. Hence, it's a constant reminder for wandering/judging brains :S to stop the mind wandering over other people's outlook.

Tazeen said...

Masha'Allah. Glad to hear that you got another place to publish your work! :D

Uni said...

Actually, I didn't. Because that journal thing was not somewhere anybody should publish at all (because not only were they charging a good amount, but also because they don't have any ranking - impact factor).


So as I said, I remain publication-less.

:) Thanks for dropping by. In the best diarist category, I haven't seen anybody with greater votes then Crimson Sky, so far. Hope you win :)

Tazeen said...

Oh! I'll pray for you then. You're a brilliant student. Insha'Allah aap ko koi publication zarur milegi. :)

And Jazak'Allah! There are a couple of people with greater votes but I'm trying to ask around for as many votes as I can. Also, they shall be judging the blogs too and not just going by the votes since some people are manipulating the votes wrongly too. But I have high hopes from Allah mian! :D

Uni said...


And Insha Allah. Hope so :)

Oh one can manipulate the votes there? Man. IA you'll get the award. :)

Glow said...

great congratulations!! :)

waisy i have heard that journals with no impact factor charge a registration fee!! its better to get it published elsewhere in a conf(which also have a registration fee) but better than such journals i guess :S

yes appearances are deceiving and stereotyping is not gud :P

Uni said...

Er, why are you congratulating me? And yes, i totally agree with that. That's the advice I got from everybody.

Definitely .. :)

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Glow said...

congratulating u coz now u know u did a good job.. and coz it got accepted somewhere!! :)

Uni said...

Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my post :S. I didn't get accepted for thesis paper yet, because it never got submitted (due to the collaboration thing).

And the other paper which was randomly submitted to this journal (by somebody else) DID get accepted, but the journal had no impact factor and was charging a fee.

So um, in the end... I didn't get anything.

Glow said...

oooh okkkk... congrats to somebody else then :P

Uni said...

:) Weelll okay. If you say so.