Monday, February 27, 2006

The fates have spoken: "No more research excuses!"

I have this awful habit of letting conference deadlines slide. I'll see a Call for Papers for a completely relevant conference for my work, get all excited, and start planning out what I want to submit. But then it gets closer to the deadline, and I either get lazy or down on myself ("my work's not ready to be submitted yet!"), and whoosh, the deadline goes by. Sometimes I even use teaching as an excuse: "well, I wanted to submit to Conference X, but the deadline's during Midterm Week!". Yeah, I know, this is Really Bad.

There are two such conferences that had late February/early March deadlines. I found myself starting to rehash the old, tired excuses, hating myself all the while. But then an odd thing happened: within the past week, *both* paper deadlines were extended until mid- to late-March. What are the odds?? (answer: very small. Deadlines will sometimes get extended by a few days or a week, but never by several weeks.)

I've taken this as my own personal sign from the Cosmos that I *need* to submit something to one of these conferences. (Technically I guess I have enough material for two separate conference papers, but I'm not sure I have the time or energy to throw two papers together between now and then.) And so the writing has commenced, the last round of experiments has started, and I'm wondering if I should have my undergrad researchers make me some pretty diagrams for the paper (is it more productive to have them help me get this paper out the door, or to keep working on their own projects? hmmmmm.).

I can't always rely on signs from the Cosmos like this. I am going to consider this a gift---and re-pledge myself to not blowing off conference deadlines in the future. (No, really, I mean it this time!)

1 comment:

What Now? said...

The CFP pattern that's emerged for me this year is that I don't even notice the CFP until the day or day after that it's due; or, in one case, noticed it two days ahead of time and then forgot it until the day after the deadline.

So in the last few months I've submitted one abstract on the day itself and two abstracts one or two days after the deadline, both times with an apologetic note saying that I completely understand if they won't accept the abstract but that I thought it was worth a shot. And so far, I've gotten my paper accepted to two of those conferences and am waiting to hear back on the third.

I wonder if I'm subconsciously waiting until the last minute so that I have to dash off an abstract in an adrenaline frenzy and thus can tell myself that if it doesn't get accepted, I have a good excuse rather than that my work is shoddy? But I don't want to become the kind of academic who turns in everything late and thinks that deadlines don't apply to me. So I need to work on this.

Good luck on the two conferences you're applying to!