Monday, May 03, 2010

Should I be honored?

So, I was recently asked to write a book chapter for a new book in the series "Methods in Molecular Biology". Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with the request:

1. The book chapter deals with work I did about 5 years ago, which means I'm 5 years behind on the literature.
2. In my line of work, book chapters count for ZILCH. Since it's not peer-reviewed, the bean counters at my agency don't care, and at this point I've already pretty much established my impact in this area so a book chapter won't help further.

Now, I've never written a book chapter and my ego is a bit pleased about the invitation. Plus, it's Methods in Molecular Biology, and I've poured over these volumes for my entire career. However I also know what a slog they can be, which really gives me pause. So I'm leaning towards rejecting the offer. However, if someone can give me a valid reason to consider it, I'm all ears (or eyes as the case may be).

6 comments:

Genomic Repairman said...

Hell yeah its an honor. I love those things. Don't do it for the money (since there really isn't any), DO IT FOR THE GLORY!

Genomic Repairman said...

By the way I still use those things and have since I was an undergrad.

soil mama said...

it is an honor, but I can see why you wouldn't want to do it.
do you know anyone who has done it more recently that could be a co-author who would be up on the current literature?
do you know the timeline for when it would need to be done? if you have a bit of time and can work on it in your "free time" then it might be cool. Plus, you have tenure, you don't really have to "work" anymore, right ;)

Thomas Joseph said...

I do know someone who could do it ... in particular a post-doc in my old lab who picked up my project after I graduated and recently published on this project. I know she just took a new job, but this may help her more than it'll help me.

I have yet to contact them to figure out a time frame because I'm afraid if I do only that, and don't have a name to forward to them, they'll try to saddle me with it.

Yes, I have tenure but I still need to publish (ya wise-acre) and this won't be a bean I can count in that regard.

As it turns out, if I really put my nose to the grindstone I'll be able to churn out 3 to 4 papers by October, and that really leaves me NO TIME to write a book chapter.

I _almost_ want to do it, but not quite.

Thomas Joseph said...

Received word that our Letter of Intent for a grant we're putting in for was looked at quite favorably. That means not only do I need to get my papers out, I will be lead on a grant this year. No way I can get a book chapter done this year.

I deep sixed it, and told them if they decided to come out with a pathogen issue in 2011, to look me up then.

soil mama said...

congrats on the favorable reviews on your letter of intent!