Urgent: Please reply! Can you get a bad reputation from poor academic etiquette?

Jacquelyn’s post for your contemplation in case I am late replying/reviewing/authoring🙂

The Contemplative Mammoth

Academics juggle a lot of balls. The absent-minded professor stereotype is, for some of us, an apt one. Because our jobs involve multiple independent demands on our time, we’re often tossed (or hold on to) more balls than we can handle. Balls get dropped, neglected, or stay in the air for far too long after they should have been safely placed on the shelf.

We forget deadlines, studiously ignore emails we should be answering, miss meetings, triage our to-do lists based on which thing that’s most overdue. In my first couple of years as a PI, I’ve seen (and committed) my share of academic courtesy faux pas: never-returned emails, late reviews, late manuscripts, that one person who holds up the special issue, forgetting to notify co-authors of a conference abstract submission*, leaving names off of manuscripts or talks. We may be new PIs still figuring out academic workloads, we may suck at saying no…

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About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum fĂĽr Naturkunde Berlin.
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