If I was younger, my shorts, they would be frosted

Jul 25 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

But, I'm not young. And crap that irritates me, it's there. It was there. It is there. It will continue to be there.

So what now?

I do animal models of a disease entity. As an aside, it also generates data to answer some basic science questions. These questions are of lesser interest to NIH, but drive me.

I review papers of the clinicians who work with the actual human patients, as opposed to my animal patients. They do not cite me, unless in review I make a point of saying: you are ignoring animal work that speak directly to your results, and in some cases, contradicts your results, or perhaps suggests a different interpretation.

The young clinicians, BigDogs in training, cite themselves, their mentor, and a few other people who have spun out of the BSD, BigBig Dog's lab.

Shall I add that BigBigDog is rude as hell to me at meetings? That is, when he's not being condescending about the role of animal research in his clinical specialty.

Why is this short-frosting material? Because its the being ignored part. It's the arrogance of "only our group is worth citing". These guys know the other work, they Just. Don't. Care. Being ignored is what I have battled from day one in academics. At clinical meetings. In discussion groups. In Basic Science meetings, when my stuff isn't shiny enough.

There comes a point when a woman gets tired of it. That's not a good place. There also comes a point where a woman says to herself: "Self, I say, you do good work. You are published. You are funded. Screw the bastards".  That is a much better place.

4 responses so far

  • xykademiqz says:

    This is definitely shorts-frosting behavior. In one of the area I work in, there is the in-crowd (3-4 labs and their offspring) who only cite their own progenitors and progeny; then there are the upwardly mobile, who cite exclusively those whom they perceive higher on the totem pole (so not even those who are peers in the imagined hierarchy). Being ignored is really exhausting. The worst thing is that I don't know how to justify it to my students -- they (perhaps rightly) think that if people don't cite you then you don't matter; that their work doesn't matter. Trying to convince them that some people are just a little too egotistical for everyone's good sounds like "loser talk" (a term one of my colleagues uses).

    • potnia theron says:

      In general, this is a hard thing to deal with students. Beyond your points, you want them to learn and perceive the right ways to act (rise above it), but you also do not want to unleash their ninja-like tendencies to "go to war".

  • dr_mho says:

    The irony is that (at least in my field - neuroscience) most of us in basic science are pretty condescending towards the clinicians, who, in general, have no insight into mechanisms and only a limited understanding of the scientific method.

  • Ugh. I think this is part of what drives impact factor obsession in students. My students often have this naive view that if only they published in a higher impact journal, they would be cited more. It makes it a lot harder to get them to submit to appropriate journals the first time, rather than insisting on trying the impact factor ladder.

Leave a Reply