The (author)shipping news

(please excuse the rampant self-promotion that follows)

Well well well, what do we have here?

Pathol Rev Pubmed

But wait! There’s more!

NGS review pubmed

When I moved from a postdoctoral position to a job in biotech marketing in 2005, I thought my publishing days were over. This made me a little sad. Since moving back to academia a couple of years later I’ve worked on dozens of manuscripts (and have been mentioned in many an Acknowledgments section), but never did enough to warrant authorship…

…until last year.

The first paper is the result of a project funded by one of the first grants I worked on after starting my current job. I wrote the grant application’s introduction and contributed to the study design (indirectly, but still) – and then didn’t hear much about it until it was time to write up a few years later, at which point I helped compile some of the data into tables, made a figure, wrote parts of the manuscript, edited all of it, and co-ordinated the submission.

The second paper, being a review, had a slightly lower bar for authorship. I was initially asked just to edit the first author’s draft that she’d written based on a structure agreed upon with her supervisor; as this is her first paper it needed quite a bit of work, and I also suggested adding a sub-section. I sent my edits on to my boss, and the next version came back to me with my name added to the author list.

You wait seven years for a paper, then two come along at once – bloody typical!

When I got married and changed my name (which I consider an upgrade – I gained an extra letter and an extra syllable compared to my far-too-short maiden name), I thought my publishing days were well and truly done (I made the decision a couple of months before applying for my current job). I’ve never regretted making the change, but it did pose something of a dilemma for the two new papers: should I use my new name, which would be confusing to someone (e.g. a future employer) looking up my publication record; or the old one, which would confuse my co-authors and other colleagues, who’ve never known me under any other name? I went with the new name because a) I know a couple of people who changed their name but continued to publish under their maiden name. It seemed like they didn’t get as much recognition of their accomplishments as other department members, because not everyone recognised the name on the paper and therefore didn’t realise that that colleague had been involved in the study; b) it’s easy enough to prove that I “own” all my papers if I need to; c) there are a bunch of other “dunn ca”s in PubMed, but only one other “ennis ca”; and d) I just like it better, damnit. So there.

Anyway. I am officially chuffed. Yay me!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in career, original research, personal, publishing, science, screenshots. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The (author)shipping news

  1. Beth Snow says:

    Congrats, Dr. E!

    My first few papers from my PhD are under my former (i.e., ex-husband’s) surname, with more recent papers under my maiden name (i.e., the one I currently go by). I put a note on my publication list that older papers were published under a former surname, and it’s not been a problem for people reading my CV. Without the note, however, people could not figure out why I had “M.E. Simpson” underlined for the older papers and “M.E. Snow” underlined for the more recent ones. I thought it would be pretty obvious, but honestly, people were totally flummoxed without the explanation.

  2. Massimo says:

    Not that I think you are fishing for them or anything, but I am pleased to extend my sincerest compliments. I am so jealous, I wish I could change my name too, and then tell everyone that my h-index is actually twice as much as it is, it is just that I have been publishing under different names…

  3. cromercrox says:

    Modesty is an overrated virtue. Publication entitles you to a certain amount of self-congratulation.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Congrats on the two papers!

    I got married about 6 months after receiving my PhD in 2010 and changed my last name to my husbands (which I also consider an upgrade, went from 6 letters to 9, there’s a very cool looking family crest associated with the name in Norway, and I’m the only one with my new name in Pubmed that I can find so far).

    I now have a 50/50 split on my CV between the papers with my maiden name and my new last name. A little * and explanation at the bottom of my list of manuscripts seems to do the trick. Most people will ask about the change but don’t seem confused or bewildered about it.

  5. Nice!

    I also am in the “not really publishing much any more” zone… every now and then it makes me a little sad, but not much.

  6. Mermaid says:

    Yay you! That is awesome!!!

  7. Heather says:

    Yes, self-promotion is absolutely encouraged and warranted. On your own blog, c’mon!

    “…at which point I helped compile some of the data into tables, made a figure, wrote parts of the manuscript, edited all of it, and co-ordinated the submission.”

    You don’t even have to defend that you deserved your inclusion, but you did. Satisfied? Truly.

    I mean, heck, I brag about my bragging rights, and that takes a lot less work. ;-)

  8. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks all!

    Beth, both papers were in press when I last used my CV, so I had two underlined names in my publication list – but I’d put “nee Dunn” under my name on the front page to explain that. I’m astonished that the presumably intelligent people who read your CV without the explanatory note had such a hard time with it – it’s really not that difficult or unusual!

    Massimo, just pick a prolific person with the same given name initials and claim away! If anyone questions you too vigorously about it, say “well, really, that’s none of your business”. It’ll work just fine.

    Thanks, Cromercrox! I think so too – especially after such a long break!

    Elizabeth, thanks for providing further proof that the people who had a hard time with Beth’s CV are eejits!

    It’s definitely good to be unique (or at least one of only two people with the same name, instead of one of dozens) in PubMed. Catherine Dunn is just a very, very common name – I’ve met two others in person (one of them lived in the same student residence as me in Glasgow, so we always got each other’s mail; the other one came up to my poster at a conference waving her name badge at me and grinning widely. She also had the same middle name as me), and I’m aware of many others. Ennis is less common, although my sister-in-law is Kathy Ennis, which does get confusing – several people have friended the wrong one on Facebook!

    Richard, it is a shame, isn’t it? I hope you manage to find a way to get a paper every now and then.

    Thanks Mermaid! It’s a nice way to end my last few weeks here!

    Heather, meta-bragging FTW!

  9. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks ScientistMother! (our comments crossed)

  10. chall says:

    woho! congrats! That’s awesome fun news. I think it is one of those obvious things to be happy about (brag/mention), it’s a publication and it’s fun times.

    I wish I can get back into the publishing field, if I find some new interesting analytical stuff – that would probably be possible… now…. just have to get that UPLC working ;)

  11. bean-mom says:

    Congrats, Cath! Way to go!

    It can feel strange to still publish when you’re not still at the bench, no? When I held a science writing/editing job somewhat similar to yours, I was offered authorship on a manuscript that I worked very hard on. It was so disorganized that I basically had to rewrite it from scratch–including giving advice on experimental design, figures, etc. It was a really weird position to be in; I’d been hired as a writer, not a postdoc or staff scientist, so it felt odd giving scientific input. But everyone was appreciative, particularly the Very Busy Supervisor who was too busy to supervise. When they offered me authorship on that paper, I turned it down as I didn’t feel I’d quite met the standard for authorship, but also because I thought it was an awful manuscript (even after all my help) and I didn’t want to be associated with it!

    And the review that I worked on in that particular lab, which I thought I really did deserve authorship on? Not only did I not get authorship–they forgot to acknowledge me!

    C’est la vie. New lab now, working at the bench and writing for myself. Okay, this comment has gone on too long. I just remember how odd it felt to be in that position, and to realize that you can still publish even when you’re not at the bench. (I guess no PIs are actually at the bench, and they all publish!) Anyway, congrats again!

  12. Frank Norman says:

    Congrats from me too. Always good to see your name up in lights.

    Maybe you could have put both names (CA Dunn and CA Ennis) on? ;-)

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