Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pinned post for prospective faculty to IITs/IISc

This is a pinned post for prospective faculty to IITs/IISc. Please, please read this site and the old posts, herehere, herehere,  here and here, here also. There are over 2000 comments and replies to these comments in these posts. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Admissions 2015

Every year, I used to post on the status of admissions to our B.Sc (Research), M.E and research programs. Due to this, I am getting several emails this year also. I am not in the UG/PG admissions committees effective Jan 2015. This is a personal decision so that I could concentrate on certain research problems that require undivided attention. On an aside (as I am frequently asked this question), I am also not on the committee that will advise the director so that IISc will become a top 50 university within the next five years. I am, therefore, sorry that I am unable to respond to the emails or provide updates on admissions or my opinion on rankings.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Publishing

There is an extremely well written article on publishing/publishers/high cost of journals etc. that has appeared in the latest issue of Current Science. The article seems to focus on mathematics journals but the principles there are applicable to all fields.

Unfortunately, another book which promises much from the title, "Do We Still Need Peer Review?" fails in the quality of the content. Read the review of the book.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Thanks

..to the readers and commentators on this blog. This blog has crossed one million visits in 5 years. Thank you all.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Choosing a research advisor

How can you avoid a picking a bad adviser if you’re not sure what you’re looking for in the first place?
One way is to study what goes into the decision. Be an informed consumer: Know what you want, and expect what you’re entitled to.
From the comments
Spotting (and avoiding) a bad adviser is actually much easier than finding a good one. Common issues to watch for:
(1) Ask: find former students or colleagues and [delicately] ask whether (s)he is an effective adviser who supports students. 
(2) Speak: is (s)he someone with whom you can truly speak... candidly? You will need that later on, so avoid those aloof, cagey, dismissive, and distant personality types (and yes I realize that probably rules out half of academia);
(3) Publications: does (s)he publish results regularly? If not, avoid. Remember you're there to do work and get published. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Congratulations

to Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, who has been confirmed as the DST secretary. He is an outstanding scientist and someone I look up to for research.

He also writes wonderful poems and he presented me a great book called Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

I think he will miss doing research in IIT, Kanpur but I feel his contribution to science will increase by taking over this position.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Impact factor

Another new impact factor by Scopus.

IPP: The IPP measures the ratio of citations in a year (Y) to scholarly papers published in the three previous years (Y-1, Y-2, Y-3) divided by the number of scholarly papers published in those same years (Y-1, Y-2, Y-3). 

SNIP: Source Normalized Impact per Paper measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field.

SJR: SCImago Journal Rank is a prestige metric based on the idea that not all citations are the same.


Of course, you have the famous journal impact factor (JIF) by Thomson Reuters as published by Journal Citation Reports (JCR). This is based on 2 and 5 year windows. Thus, now we have impact factors on 2, 3 and 5 year windows but based on different databases.

The Eigenfactor is another PageRank-type measure of journal influence.

Scientists normally choose a journal based on factors such as longevity, publisher and reputation in the community rather than impact factor. However, in my experience, in the Indian scientific community, impact factor is given a lot of importance rather than how many times the paper is eventually read/cited. It should be remembered that less than 5% of the total papers that are published are cited more than 10 times (the i-10 index) and only 20% of the papers published in the journal contribute to 80% of the impact factor (Pareto principle).