Removing bricks

Getting the idea for a study is really fun. Actually amazingly fun. To come up with an interesting problem, and to design ways to test it. Collecting the data is also fun, especially when there eventually is so much data and the preliminaries have gone so far so it is possible to interpret all of it and conclude if those initial suspicions you had about the problem were correct or not. And this is also where we have the war-rooms that I have described a few times, when those of us who are interested in a particular problem come together and go over everything we have relating to that problem, and discuss possible interpretations and what kind of additional data we need.

Sadly, what comes after is not equally fun. The data needs to be finalised, the study needs to be written up, and the whole things needs to be published somewhere. And the worst part of it all is if the manuscript is rejected from the first journal it was submitted to and all the formalias needs to be re-worked for a different journal. It is really amazing how easy it is to get distracted when doing these parts, and maybe start to design a new project instead, or perhaps even a couple of new projects. Especially if it bounces from a journal yet one time, and all the citations and the text organization has to be re-worked once again. Something that is as far from fun as is possible is spending very much time re-formating the details in a list of sources. It is astonishing how much time of the glamorous research-life that is spent on moving around commas and page-numbers in citation-lists. How much fun is that when you can design and start a new study instead? But to avoid having 30 projects in early phases and nothing published during the latest five years, those commas needs to be moved to their right place according to the manual for where you are submitting the manuscript. But there is sort of a reward in the end, when you are done with the bleeding manuscript and send it away to a journal. It is like removing bricks from a back-pack you are carrying around. And we had the pleasure of removing two such bricks this past week (thanx Charlotte, Anna, Torun, Maja, and Magda for excellent and disciplined work!), thus it was a good week.