Q: Can I re-submit an updated research paper in an international journal if it has got once rejected in the same journal?
Krishna: Yes, you can, provided you have satisfactorily addressed all the issues raised during the rejection process.
Q: Can researchers be objective?
Krishna: Researchers are human beings too. So their minds can take the wrong route sometimes.
I did research in both science and art and published papers in both the subjects. Depending on my experience, this is what I think is true…
In in the field of art, even if you are not objective, it doesn’t matter. To be honest, I wasn’t objective sometimes. I had the freedom to go anyway I wanted. But still my papers got accepted and published!
However, scientific method puts a tight leash on the minds of researchers in science. If you are not objective, you cannot go very far in science. You certainly cannot publish papers.
Therefore, I think science is neutral most of the time while arriving at facts and I trust it more than anything else because of this nature of science.
Q: Who should be a first author in a scientific publication?
Krishna: It should be the person who did the most significant work.
But sometimes the advisers or institute heads are made the first authors which I think is not correct.
After the first author, the subsequent authors are usually listed as per their contribution to the research, starting with the one who contributed the most to the least. However, sometimes multiple authors may have contributed equally, in which case the order of author names does not matter.
Q: What do you do to get your focus back in the lab?
Krishna: This question itself sounds ominous ( giving the worrying impression that something unfavourable is going to happen).
I am talking about scientific research here. Several Nobel laureates’ advice to those who are about to enter the research field :
Go into science if you are curious and have passion for it. If not, find something else!
If you are curious and passionate about science, you don’t need separate modes of motivation because you won’t lose focus in the first place. Your mind will have those special characters that will have you in their tight grip.
If you are not curious and passionate, even though you get motivation from outside or from your own tutored self, research will be substandard and you lose interest very soon.
Q: How do I answer reviewers for a journal paper revision?
Krishna: After a paper rejection or when asked to revise it?
Anyway, the reviewers themselves raise some questions if your work is not up to the mark or ask you to clarify certain things. You will have to address all these issues without any exceptions and revise your work when asked for it. Then only your paper would be considered again.
You simply cannot bluff your way through the process. You have to take the reviewers seriously. They are experts in the field. When they say some thing, they would be sure about it and not all (2 or 3) experts can go wrong.
Only when you do what was asked of you, you can re-send the paper again for publication. Just answering won’t do if your paper has several flaws.
Correct yourself, review procedures, results, conclusions and paper again and again. Check all the things again. You will have to satisfy the reviewers with your work, not with just answers. If you really want your paper to get published, that is.
Q: Can an assistant professor besides teaching also be involved in research?
Krishna: Yes, in science and if you are working with a university or PG college and if you want to progress in your academic career
But some APs don’t get involved in research in India, if they are working in degree colleges, junior and even PG colleges.
Q:You are tasked with setting up an academy of pseudoscience that offers bachelors, master’s degrees and PhDs. What will be its name and syllabus?
We are fighting with pseudo-science like hell. Now you want an academy of pseudo-science!
Do you really understand what you are talking about?
Q: How do I amicably answer when a research guide is not happy with research progress?
Krishna: You should answer with your work, not words.
Ask your guide how the work should progress. Discuss in detail why s/he is unsatisfied. Then proceed according to his/her suggestions. The guide is there to help you, not to listen to your excuses, even if amicably placed.
Q: What assurance do I have for entering my ongoing research here in this great crowd of eminent researchers?
Krishna: You don’t get that assurance just like that. There is a procedure to follow and if your work has merit it will definitely get what it deserves.