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Introduction and comment on paper quantity

Shirley Baker baker at macalstr.edu
Fri Jun 30 11:39:13 EST 1995

Hi!  I've just discovered women-in-bio.  I'm a postdoc at Macalester 
College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I am studying the effects of 
colonization by the introduced zebra mussel on the physiology of the 
native freshwater mussels.  I was trained as a marine biologist but have 
switched over to freshwater for the time being.  I got my masters degree 
at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (University of Oregon), where 
I studied the hemoglobin of a sea cucumber.  I got my PhD at the 
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (College of William and Mary) where 
I studied the metamorphosis of oysters and the effects of hypoxia on 
that process.  

I have a comment on the on-going discussion about paper quantity in grad 
school.  I had published my masters (1 pub) and most of my dissertation 
(3 pubs) in well-respected journals, plus about 5 "gray" literature 
articles before graduating.  I didn't get my first paper out until about 
3 years into my dissertation (it took me 5). Getting that paper 
published was the boost to my waning self-esteem that I needed to get my 
act together and finish. Having pubs definately helped me land a good 
postdoc.  Quality is better than quantity, though.  One pub in a good 
journal is worth several in less well known journals. Publishing while 
still in school is an advantage too, in that as time goes by, it gets 
more and more difficult to sit down and write those papers.  Ive been a 
postdoc a year and a half and still have not finished writing the last 
paper from my dissertation.  


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