Work diligently, honestly

Simple rules for establishing reputation in the field of research
Work diligently, honestly
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Reputation is derived from the Latin word reputare ‘think over’. A common idea that someone or something possesses a specific attribute, such as expert knowledge of his field, however, we would argue that a reputation is based on the human trait of not appreciating the value of something until you no longer have it. A scientific reputation is built through time and is similar to compound interest in that the more you have, the more you can acquire, and the more you can acquire, the more you can share for the sake of the society. It's also incredibly easy to lose, and it's very impossible to get back after you've lost it. Here are some guidelines for establishing and maintaining a scientific reputation in the research field as:

First think then Act

It's all too easy to respond dismissively or unpleasantly to a criticism of your work during a conference, seminar, workshop, or other event without thinking about it, especially via e-mail or any another impersonal online media. To put it another way, no matter what the temptation, always take the high road. It will pay off in the long run, especially in an era when every word you type into a digital form is instantly transmitted, permanently archived, and retrievable at any moment.

Do not avoid criticism

Criticism is a positive thing; yet, ignoring it will not increase knowledge or skills, thus it is better to be prepared to embrace it.

Do not ignore people

It's all too easy to respond to individuals in a proportional manner. For example, a teacher who can support students and help them realize their dreams, if he doesn’t respond to calls from students, whether it is a question about your work or a request for anything, definitely it’s not good for the teacher. That is why, ignoring people (students and others) can have a negative impact on your reputation in the research field.

Check anything you publish carefully, and take publishing seriously

One of the beauties of science is that it does not progress in certainties, which is also one of the reasons why it is such a difficult job. Though you cannot guarantee that everything you write will be proven right in 50 years, you can assure that you followed the established norms of time and that you thoroughly verified it (and double-checked it) whether you were the most junior or senior author. You may be the only one who notices the accuracy of the work being done as the initial author, but all authors share responsibility for the paper. So, no matter how modest or large your contribution, always be honest with your co-authors on the data quality and correctness. When you're a senior author, it's all too easy to take a draught text at face value and publish it. Both tactics can backfire and give the impression of shoddy effort or, worse, dishonesty. Authorship is not a gift; it must be earned, and being a guest or gift author diminishes authorship's significance. Never accept to be an author on a paper that has been ghostwritten. These studies have undisclosed conflicts of interest at best, and possible misconduct at worst.

Always disclose any potential conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest exist in everyone's life, whether they are financial, professional, or personal. It is hard for anyone to know how their own disagreement will be seen by others. When disagreements are hidden or mismanaged, problems arise. As a result, before taking on a new scientific venture, such as being a grant reviewer, a member of a scientific advisory board, or a paper reviewer, consider what others will feel; you will gain from the process. Your reputation will suffer if you do not handle conflicts effectively.

Contribute to the Community

If your review/full paper is complete, share it for the benefit of the community; however, if you are slow to put your own data into the public domain, people will eventually notice and your reputation will suffer; therefore, it is better to share it as soon as possible if you have completed the work.

Don't commit to tasks you won't be able to finish

You can’t commit to any tasks unless or until you can’t complete the work, it can negatively on your reputation. It means, first complete the tasks after that you can commit/decision upon it - positive thinking.

You shouldn't write negative grant and paper reviews

The most appreciated reviews are those that deliver honest criticism, even to well-known authors. Journal editors quickly get a feeling of who performs a good job and who does not, and this is based on their decisions. Such perceptions will have a subtle impact on your reputation.

Do not write references for people who do not deserve it

Who don’t contribute it, do not mention for people in references, it is an unethical standard. So if someone can add on your name in either paper, article, etc who have not worked/contributed and the latter can impact on your reputation as once this person is hired, the hirer may question aspects of your own abilities or motives.

Never plagiarize your data

True, the electronic age has provided us with capabilities for dealing with data, images, and words that were inconceivable just some years ago, and students and post-docs are particularly proficient at using these tools. However, the underlying idea of data, image, and text integrity remains unchanged from a century ago. You will be guilty of data manipulation, image manipulation, or plagiarism if you tamper with any of these aspects beyond what is specifically specified as allowed (many publications have criteria for photos, for example). Furthermore, you will almost certainly be discovered. Technologies for detecting all of these unethical acts have advanced and are now extensively used. So the better thing is do not cut paste on data, it will negatively impact your reputation.

Khan Aadil Gulzar is pursuing Ph.D programme in the field of Environmental Science, presently working at CBT, University of Kashmir, Srinagar.

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