Hi everyone

Would like to take this opportunity to promote the journal article side of the new Randall and CHAPS PhD blog. As you can see, its looking pretty snazzy these days, traffics pretty high from those who already participate, and we are ready for as many new submissions as we can manage!

Here’s why its good:

  • If you feel like an imposter when you write, actively avoid it, or just take a long time over it…the cure is to write more! You might go from hating writing to actually finding joy in it. This will make you the next Hemingway/Stein, guaranteed.

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  • It’s a good opportunity to build your own writing skills, which you need as an academic for papers, grants, and communication. In other words, it has the potential to make you a better scientist!


  • Its also a good way to get a deeper understanding of articles within your field. Finding the eponymous about ‘bigger picture’ can be like a lightning bolt. It can help you to see your research in a wider context, cut the wheat from the chaff etc etc etc.


  • …or look outside your direct area of interest and find something new! A lot of time is spent inside our tiny bubble of detailed knowledge – there’s a whole damned ocean out there.


  • Find another place your biology works, or your technology is used, and who knows, you might find another world! Or at least another job prospect.


Writing a journal article can be fun, like serious fun.  You can combine whatever articles you wish and make a composite, themed article. It can be long, short, over several installments, whatever. It can be about an article you have suddenly decided is bloody awful half way through. It can be an over zealous one, and under sold one, a badly written one, a wonderful sounding one by someone huge in the field (which is any of the above) …

There are two rules:

  • Check whether the article is paywalled or not. No paywall = you can include figures, but writing about paywalled articles with your own nouse (and google images) is great too. Walls are made for breaking.
  • Fresher the better. Try to pick articles that were out in the last few months. But then again, if you are writing on a theme, or just don’t like rules, write about anything.


Get writing, and contact Michael Shannon for submissions.