2016年2月9日 星期二

Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students 給研究生們的忠告

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Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students 給研究生們的忠告

Stephen C. Stearns
http://stearnslab.yale.edu/some-modest-advice-graduate-students
繁體中譯: 黃鴻鈞

譯序:我在大年初二乍見一篇名為【耶魯教授:研究生做科研的11條軍規】 的文章,而這篇文章用簡體中文翻譯的十分不妥。在這有壓迫感的怪標題下,充滿了詭異的內容與「走鐘的翻譯」,於是找到Yale U所刊的原文一看竟是一篇很溫馨的老教授給有志於從事學術研究的學子們實用的忠告而不是什麼軍規啊。為了不再讓那詭異的翻譯凃毒世上的莘莘學子,所以我用比對的方式重新轉譯整篇文章,雖然無法譯到信,達,雅的境界,但力求正確地傳達老教授的意思,讓各位正在研究所的同學們參考。

Always Prepare for the Worst.永遠要做好最壞的打算

Some of the greatest catastrophes in graduate education could have been avoided by a little intelligent foresight. Be cynical. Assume that your proposed research might not work, and that one of your faculty advisers might become unsupportive - or even hostile. Plan for alternatives.
人無遠慮必有近憂,所以「遠慮」就可以讓你在研究路途中趨吉避凶。極端點的想法,假如你的研究計劃行不通,假如某個指導教授非但對你的研究計劃不支持甚至於敵視,那麼你還是趕緊換一個題目為妙。

*譯按:與老闆Meeting時,自己主動的提供眾多的選擇題來與您的老闆討論,會比給老闆一張申論題卷來的有安全感。

Nobody cares about you. 別指望有人幫你(要有自立的準備)

In fact, some professors care about you and some don't. Most probably do, but all are busy, which means in practice they cannot care about you because they don’t have the time. You are on your own, and you had better get used to it. This has a lot of implications. Here are two important ones:
事實上,有些教授會去觀照你,有些則不會。儘管大部分教授可能幫您,但他們整日都忙得暈頭轉向,自顧不暇,因此愛莫能助。那麼你就得完全靠自己而且最好是如此,這麼說有多層含義,其中兩個要點:
  1. You had better decide early on that you are in charge of your program. The degree you get is yours to create. Your major professor can advise you and protect you to a certain extent from bureaucratic and financial demons, but he should not tell you what to do. That is up to you. If you need advice, ask for it: that’s his job.
    你最好盡早確定你想做什麼研究。學位是你要去拿,而不是教授要去拿,你要自己去爭取。當然,指導教授也不會袖手旁觀,他會給你一些指導,也會在一定程度上幫你解決你在培養實驗這類經費開銷上無後顧之憂,但是謹記:指導教授不會告訴你如何做。很多事情都取決於你自己。如果你需要建議,那就去諮詢他,這是他的責任。
  2. If you want to pick somebody’s brains, you’ll have to go to him or her, because they won’t be coming to you.
    如果你想得到別人的智慧,那你就必須主動地找他,而別想他來找您。
*譯按:念研究所和念大學這兩階段的最大差異是「對知識的存在態度」,在大學階段是知識的消費者,而到了研究所階段卻要成為知識的生產者。由此「主動與被動」就分明了,另外研究圈常用「斷奶」來形容一個人獨立研究的能力與狀態,指導教授們傾向於收「易斷奶」的研究生,易斷奶的特徵很多,但絕對不會是媽寶、爸寶級的

You Must Know Why Your Work is Important. 你必須自知你的研究之重要性(自己要對自己的研究有充分的價值主張) 

When you first arrive, read and think widely and exhaustively for a year. Assume that everything you read is bullshit until the author manages to convince you that it isn’t. If you do not understand something, don’t feel bad - it’s not your fault, it’s the author’s. He didn’t write clearly enough.
當你剛入門時,你得在第一年廣泛地閱讀和思考。你所閱讀的那些文獻,起初都感覺是都是糞土一堆,但後來你會逐漸品味出絕非如此。如果文獻中有些東西你看不懂,不要灰心喪氣,可能不是你的問題,而是作者他可能根本就沒有說清楚。
If some authority figure tells you that you aren’t accomplishing anything because you aren’t taking courses and you aren’t gathering data, tell him what you’re up to. If he persists, tell him to bug off, because you know what you’re doing, dammit.
如果某個大咖對你說,你將無法成事,因為你沒有去上課,沒有獲得數據資料,那麼請你勇敢地告訴他,你終將有成。如果他們仍然堅持己見,那就給他閃了吧。因為唯有你自己最清楚自己在做什麼,所以不用在乎他。
This is a hard stage to get through because you will feel guilty about not getting going on your own research. You will continually be asking yourself, “What am I doing here?” Be patient. This stage is critical to your personal development and to maintaining the flow of new ideas into science. Here you decide what constitutes an important problem. You must arrive at this decision independently for two reasons.
這個階段會讓人有受煎熬與挫折的感覺。 你需要冷靜地思考,不斷自省:現在的我究竟在幹啥? 要沉得住氣,這個階段對你的生涯發展至關重要,同時對也對所研究的領域孕育出新的想法。此時,你得抉擇出一個在您的科學領域上「所謂的重要問題」。這個決擇您必須自己捫心自問的回答出來,這理由有二:
First, if someone hands you a problem, you won’t feel that it is yours, you won’t have that possessiveness that makes you want to work on it, defend it, fight for it, and make it come out beautifully.
首先,如果你研究的問題是別人給的,你會感到這個問題是別人要求的,而不是自己主動要去做,也因此不會奮力的捍衛它,直至開花結果。
Secondly, your PhD work will shape your future. It is your choice of a field in which to carry out a life’s work. It is also important to the dynamic of science that your entry be well thought out. This is one point where you can start a whole new area of research. Remember, what sense does it make to start gathering data if you don’t know - and I mean really know - why you’re doing it?
第二,你攻讀博士學位期間的研究工作,會影響你未來的發展。你未來將獻身於哪個領域,這個決定必須由你自主抉擇。謹慎的選擇你的研究方向,這對科學的發展也是非常重要的。或許在這個方向上你可以另闢新局。但請記住:如果你根本不知道為什麼要做研究,就去開始去收集數據,那有什麼意義呢?

*譯按:一個研究議題的價值主張,是研究者自己要去探尋與捍衛的,要能隨時長篇大論的說明您所研究的議題是如何有意義,如何有貢獻,如果自己說不出什麼價值出來,那就成了別人眼中或貨真價實的「雞肋研究」。

Psychological Problems are the Biggest Barrier. 心魔是最大的障礙

You must establish a firm psychological stance early in your graduate career to keep from being buffeted by the many demands that will be made on your time. If you don’t watch out, the pressures of course work, teaching, language requirements and who knows what else will push you around like a large, docile molecule in Brownian motion. Here are a few things to watch out for:
在你的研究生涯初期,你就必須培養堅忍不拔的心性,這樣就不會被其後可能的挫折所干擾。如果你無法時時保持警惕,那麼課業、教學、語言能力以及其他種種意料之外的壓力,會把你忙得團團轉,就像一個「大分子」在亂做布朗運動。以下列舉一些注意事項:
  1. The initiation-rite nature of the PhD and its power to convince you that your value as a person is being judged. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to avoid this one. No one does. It stems from the open-ended nature of the thesis problem. You have to decide what a “good” thesis is. A thesis can always be made better, which gets you into an infinite regress of possible improvements.
    仔細斟酌博士研究的主軸來成為終身的研究目標。因為學海無涯,無論多麼努力,每一個人都必須學會自己如何去判斷什麼樣的論文是「好」論文。 並且不斷的精益求精。
    Recognize that you cannot produce a “perfect” thesis. There are going to be flaws in it, as there are in everything. Settle down to make it as good as you can within the limits of time, money, energy, encouragement and thought at your disposal.
    但你也必須了解不可能有「完美」的論文的存在。靜下心來,在有限時間、金錢、精力、激勵和思考下,盡你所能,把論文修改到最好。
    You can alleviate this problem by jumping all the explicit hurdles early in the game. Get all of your course requirements and examinations out of the way as soon as possible. Not only do you thereby clear the decks for your thesis, but you also convince yourself, by successfully jumping each hurdle, that you probably are good enough after all.
    在研究生涯的早期,你可以先完成學則規制下的各階段要求而暫緩論文的問題。因此盡早修完課程並完成相應的考試。在達成學則規制下的各階段要求後,你可能有足夠能力來進行學位論文,所以這也是為了學位論文做好準備。
  2. Nothing elicits dominant behavior like subservient behavior. Expect and demand to be treated like a colleague. The paper requirements are the explicit hurdle you will have to jump, but the implicit hurdle is attaining the status of a colleague. Act like one and you’ll be treated like one.
    唯唯諾諾的跟班心態是不會有傑出的表現,希望與別人待您如同儕般的平起平坐,那麼研究論文的表現是你非得面對的必要過程與挑戰。透過論文的表現來展現出您夠格成與人平起平坐時,別人自然為敬重您,而非小跟班的態度。
  3. Graduate school is only one of the tools that you have at hand for shaping your own development. Be prepared to quit for awhile if something better comes up. There are three good reasons to do this.
    唸研究所只是改變前途的眾多途徑之一而已,不用執著。如果出現下列這三種更好的機會,那就不妨換一下跑道:
    1. First, a real opportunity could arise that is more productive and challenging than anything you could do in graduate school and that involves a long enough block of time to justify dropping out. Examples include field work in Africa on a project not directly related to your PhD work, a contract for software development, an opportunity to work as an aide in the nation’s capital in the formulation of science policy, or an internship at a major newspaper or magazine as a science journalist.
      首先,如果有個機會比讀研究所做的任何事都更具創造性和挑戰性時,輟學是一個不錯的選擇,那就暫時放棄研究所吧。例如一個與你的研究不甚相關的非洲田野調查、承包一個軟體開發、一個在首府科技政策制定部門當助理的機會,或者在某個主流報紙或雜誌社當科技專欄實習記者。
    2. Secondly, only by keeping this option open can you function with true independence as a graduate student. If you perceive graduate school as your only option, you will be psychologically labile, inclined to get a bit desperate and insecure, and you will not be able to give your best.
      其次,只有當你保持這種開放的心態來面對時,你才能被稱為是一個真正獨立的研究生。如果你認為讀研究所是你唯一的選擇,你將會不安而容易變得有些患得患失,而無法讓自己到達最佳狀態。
    3. Thirdly, if things really are not working out for you, then you are only hurting yourself and denying resources to others by staying in graduate school. There are a lot of interesting things to do in life besides being a scientist, and in some the job market is a lot better. If science is not turning you on, perhaps you should try something else. However, do not go off half-cocked. This is a serious decision. Be sure to talk to fellow graduate students and sympathetic faculty before making up your mind.
      最後,如果讀研究所會因此會失去更多的發展機會,那就真的別再執著。人生中除了當一位科學家,還有許多有趣的事情值得去做,也許人力市場找到的一些工作會比當科學家來的好。因此,如果你真的不適合當科學家,你應該嘗試其他的工作。但是千萬不要莽撞,這是一個很嚴肅的決定。在做出最後決定前,應該和研究所的所長或老師談談想法,他們會給你不錯的建議。
*譯按:我在攻讀博士期間,就有位研究能力極強的同學在博士資格考前夕求去,師生們無不挽留,他所面對的是博士候選人資格與跨國企業經理這兩者機會的選擇。所以在博士班期間選擇半途離開是為常態,不是退縮而是「人生的轉進」。其次,不是入學博士班就能遲早拿博士,因為在達成博士資格考前,隨時都會被考核體制刷掉而消失掉這個身份,所以此段的第一點,說明有其必要:在進入博班前期,要多費心去完成資格考與必修課程,盡速取的「博士候選人」資格,以後才能安心發展自己的研究。

Avoid Taking Lectures - They’re Usually Inefficient. 少修課-由修課而來做研究是沒有效率的(研究的發生通常是來自於省思而非修課中)

If you already have a good background in your field, then minimize the number of additional courses you take. This recommendation may seem counterintuitive, but it has a sound basis. Right now, you need to learn how to think for yourself. This requires active engagement, not passive listening and regurgitation.
如果你對你的研究領域已經相當熟悉,那麼就盡量減少修課。這個建議看上去和之前有點自相矛盾,但其實有它的道理。當下,你應該學會如何對你的研究議題去做探索。這需要你主動而不是被動的修課和因循的學習。
To learn to think, you need two things: large blocks of time, and as much one-on-one interaction as you can get with someone who thinks more clearly than you do.
學會思考,你需要兩樣東西:一是得有大量且專注的時間,其次是和這些領域有見解的專家做直接且深刻的研討。
Courses just get in the way, and if you are well motivated, then reading and discussion is much more efficient and broadening than lectures. It is often a good idea to get together with a few colleagues, organize a seminar on a subject of interest, and invite a few faculty to take part. They’ll probably be delighted. After all, it will be interesting for them, they’ll love your initiative-and it will give them credit for teaching a course for which they don’t have to do any work. How can you lose?
過度修課可能適得其反。如果你夠主動,那麼閱讀和討論將會比修課更有效率的獲得啟發。通常我會建議,跟一些研究的同儕共同組織一個研究社群,並邀請一兩位老師來參加。老師們一般都會很樂與參與,因為他們對討論的課題也很感興趣,也會喜歡你們的創見。這種研究社群,同時將給該領域的老師帶來專業的肯定之外,同時他們還不用費工也會受益,所以何樂而不為呢?
These comments of course do not apply to courses that teach specific skills: e.g., electron microscopy, histological technique, scuba diving.
當然,這些建議不適用於一些專業課程,例如電子呈像技術、組織學的技術和氧氣筒潛水技術等等。

*譯按:參與或成立研究Supporting group是有必要的,因為一個人的能力有限,透過這個group來激發研究火花或拓展資訊促觸腳,才不至於「獨學而無友,孤陋而寡文」,研究社群的參予最大的價值還是在討論時所碰撞的火花會很精彩,尤其是「生態多樣化」的研究社群。

Write a Proposal and Get It Criticized. 寫出研究計劃並拿去審評

A research proposal serves many functions.
撰寫研究計劃能產生多重的效益:
  1. By summarizing your year’s thinking and reading, it ensures that you have gotten something out of it.
    總結一年來你的見聞與您的思維,並彌補這過程中的遺漏項目。
  2. It makes it possible for you to defend your independence by providing a concrete demonstration that you used your time well.
    或許可以做一個總整理來證明您這段獨立研究過程中是如何善用時間來積累研究能量。
  3. It literally makes it possible for others to help you. What you have in mind is too complex to be communicated verbally - too subtle, and in too many parts. It must be put down in a well-organized, clearly and concisely written document that can be circulated to a few good minds. Only with a proposal before them can they give you constructive criticism.
    僅用口語上來探討,通常會流於零碎與混亂,唯有透過書面來系統化的整理您的思緒,如此來讓大家詳細的檢視之後才有建設性的看法。
  4. You need practice writing. We all do.
    你練習著寫出它,我們都是如此。
  5. Having located your problem and satisfied yourself that it is important, you will have to convince your colleagues that you are not totally demented and, in fact, deserve support. One way to organize a proposal to accomplish this goal is:
    明確的彰顯您所發現的問題並有自信面對他,這是必要的。你需要向同儕證明你並非找到問題但無計可施,而是您將有辦法來解決,如此已獲得大家的支持。提出一個研究計劃,並達成這個目標的方法是:
    • a. A brief statement of what you propose, couched as a question or hypothesis. 把您的計劃簡要的表達,並敘述成一個問題或假說的樣子。
    • b. Why it is important scientifically, not why it is important to you personally, and how it fits into the broader scheme of ideas in your field.
      從學術角度,而不是從你個人的角度,來說明其重要性,並加以闡述這重要性對於此學術領域的影響。
    • c. A literature review that substantiates (b).
      用文獻回顧來支持上述重要性主張。
    • d. Describe your problem as a series of subproblems that can each be attacked in a series of small steps. Devise experiments, observations or analyses that will permit you to exclude alternatives at each stage. Line them up and start knocking them down. By transforming the big problem into a series of smaller ones, you always know what to do next, you lower the energy threshold to begin work, you identify the part that will take the longest or cause the most problems, and you have available a list of things to do when something doesn’t work out.
      把你的大問題拆分成數個小問題來逐一解決。在設計實驗、觀察以及分析時,請確保在每一階段都準備好實驗設計。把這些步驟一個個羅列起來,並逐個解決這些問題。把大問題轉化成一系列的小問題,你可以明確知悉整個流程,以此減輕面對一個大問題時的慌亂。並且你可從中知道哪些問題、步驟比較費時,或難度較高,以此來列出執行的優先順序。如此當你明白一些進程有所阻礙時,你還有其他一系列的備案可以紓解。
  6. Write down a list of the major problems that could arise and ruin the whole project. Then write down a list of alternatives that you will do if things actually do go wrong.
    寫下一切可能危害整個研究計畫的問題,並以此擬定出的相應的備選方案,以備因應惡運真的降臨。
  7. It is not a bad idea to design two or three projects and start them in parallel to see which one has the best practical chance of succeeding. There could be two or three model systems that all seem to have equally good chances on paper of providing appropriate tests for your ideas, but in fact practical problems may exclude some of them. It is much more efficient to discover this at the start than to design and execute two or three projects in succession after the first fail for practical reasons.
    這或許是個不錯的想法,設計兩到三個實驗並同時進行,藉以此確定哪個實驗是最可能成功。但這種作法這可能可能面臨到如此問題,同時有兩到三個模型對你的預想結果有相似的詮釋力時,您會難以抉擇。不過這些擔心,總比您單靠一種實驗而發現無發驗證後再去採用另一種實驗,這些反覆的過程來的有效率。
  8. Pick a date for the presentation of your thesis and work backwards in constructing a schedule of how you are going to use your time. You can expect a stab of terror at this point. Don’t worry - it goes on like this for awhile, then it gradually gets worse.
    在計劃書中給定一個期限,來安排發表,如此才會有始有終的完成。這是因為給自己設定好截止日期後,你會有緊迫感,別擔心,這樣做才不會拖拖來拉拉的一無所成,而讓事後不斷的會恨。
  9. Spend two to three weeks writing the proposal after you’ve finished your reading, then give it to as many good critics as you can find. Hope that their comments are tough, and respond as constructively as you can.
    在你完成文獻探討之後,需要花費兩到三周的時間來撰寫研究計劃,並盡量去爭取更多別人的審思與看法,以此來轉化成您所需的研究動力。
  10. Get at it. You already have the introduction to your thesis written, and you have only been here 12 to 18 months.
    當完成上述這些步驟都時,你也差不多花了一年半載的時光,但你其實已經差不多寫好了學位論文的引言部分了。
*譯按:撰寫研究計畫是每個研究者邁向獨立研究的過程中的基本功,更是其後申請研究案的經驗積累,而箇中展現出對知識的「吸與放」 抑或是「承先啟後」的思維脈絡都需一一交代清楚,然而整個架構的邏輯連貫性有時會當局者迷,所以須找位旁觀者來釐清。

Manage Your Advisors. 「管理」您的指導教授

Keep your advisors aware of what you are doing, but do not bother them. Be an interesting presence, not a pest. At least once a year, submit a written progress report 1-2 pages long on your own initiative. They will appreciate it and be impressed.
讓你的指導教授隨時都知道你在做什麼,但不需打擾到他,讓指導教授們對你的出現感興趣,而不是像看見蟑螂一樣。每年至少主動提交一份一至兩頁的研究報告,他們會欣賞你這樣的作為並留下良好印象。
Anticipate and work to avoid personality problems. If you do not get along with your professors, change advisors early on. Be very careful about choosing your advisors in the first place. Most important is their interest in your interests.
盡量避免發生性格上的衝突問題。如果你跟你的指導教授難以相容,那麼趁早換一位吧。剛開始選擇指導教授時就需要非常謹慎,然而最重要的是你跟指導教授的研究興趣需要相同。

*譯者按:其實與指導教授間的關係,就像兩人舞般的多樣化,有人跳的是芭蕾,有人跳的是街舞,也有人是跳探戈,而默契是兩人共舞時的重要元素,進退得宜。但是如何找到適合的舞伴是個問題,建議同學們透過研究生的早期修課階段,好好找到您的舞伴,端靠名氣與印象來找,都是虛幻,去看看他和舞伴在舞池中跳得如何,再來決定吧。

Types of Theses. 論法的類型

Never elaborate a baroque excrescence on top of existing but shaky ideas. Go right to the foundations and test the implicit but unexamined assumptions of an important body of work, or lay the foundations for a new research thrust. There are, of course, other types of theses:
 別在既有但曖昧的議題上堆砌華麗的文藻,那是為賦新詞強說愁。切入主題並去驗證那些關鍵但懸而未決的假說或者提出一個新研究的方法。或者,還可以參考下列這些論題的方法:
  1. The classical thesis involves the formulation of a deductive model that makes novel and surprising predictions which you then test objectively and confirm under conditions unfavorable to the hypothesis. Rarely done and highly prized.
    利用一些聖經級的論文中所提出的「完美模型」來做為實證論題並進行假說檢驗,如此研究是為事半功倍的做法。
  2. A critique of the foundations of an important body of research. Again, rare and valuable and a sure winner if properly executed.
    對於現有的重要研究理論進行評論。與上述做法同樣的,如果您能夠有所突破,那你也將能成為此領域的人中俊傑。
  3. The purely theoretical thesis. This takes courage, especially in a department loaded with bedrock empiricists, but can be pulled off if you are genuinely good at math and logic.
    選擇做「純理論研究」是需要勇氣的,特別是在一個實證主義為主導的領域上來發展。如果你有聰慧的數學與邏輯能力,那你會成功的。
  4. Gather data that someone else can synthesize. This is the worst kind of thesis, but in a pinch it will get you through. To certain kinds of people lots of data, even if they don’t test a hypothesis, will always be impressive. At least the results show that you worked hard, a fact with which you can blackmail your committee into giving you the doctorate.
    運用一些別人也能收集的資料來發展論文是很差的論法,但是有時候卻可以幫你解圍。僅運用一大堆數據來論述,那怕是連一個假說立論都沒有,卻能營造出您很拚命研究的印象,而由此向你的口試委員會懇求授予你博士學位。
There are really as many kinds of theses as their are graduate students. The four types listed serve as limiting cases of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Doctoral work is a chance for you to try your hand at a number of different research styles and to discover which suites you best: theory, field work, or lab work. Ideally, you will balance all three and become the rare person who can translate the theory for the empiricists and the real world for the theoreticians.
研究論法的類型其實很多種,就跟研究生的百態一樣。之前所列舉的四種論法分別提供了好、差與最差論法典型。博士的研究工作讓你嘗試各種研究類型的機會,並讓你發現哪種研究最適合你是「理論研究」還是「田野研究」還是「實驗工作」,你能權衡三者而從實證的角度來思考理論問題,從理論的角度來解決現實問題,最後成為傑出的人。

*譯者按:「論法」不是「研究方法」,而是對於知識的探索態度,這兩者很容易混淆,當您對某個議題有大量的文獻回顧之後,勢必對於現存的知識有所見解,而試圖把您的見解從既有的知識基礎上再度產生更加嶄新的知識,這時善用「站在巨人的肩膀」,就會更有效率的展現「您的創見」。作者在此段所言的四種論法形式,或多或少都是研究者都會歷經過。就我而言,我多次用「經典模型」來實證與檢驗來做研究,回想最早在碩論時,論說「野中郁次郎的SECI知識場域」的組織強固性之本質為何,以此開始我的學術研究之路。沿途確實如作者所言,「理論研究、田野研究、實驗工作」這三者通通要經歷過。在此須對作者所言在做些補充,由於作者是「生科理學領域」所以對於「純理論研究」會以數理的突破為主要發展核心,而在「人文科學領域」會是以「事理的本體探討」這種哲學觀點的突破為發展核心,而商學領域又以經濟學領域最著重數理的應用突破為發展核心。

Start Publishing Early. 趁早起步開始發表

Don’t kid yourself. You may have gotten into this game out of your love for plants and animals, your curiosity about nature, and your drive to know the truth, but you won’t be able to get a job and stay in it unless you publish. You need to publish substantial articles in internationally recognized, refereed journals. Without them, you can forget a career in science. This sounds brutal, but there are good reasons for it, and it can be a joyful challenge and fulfillment. Science is shared knowledge. Until the results are effectively communicated, they in effect do not exist. Publishing is part of the job, and until it is done, the work is not complete. You must master the skill of writing clear, concise, well-organized scientific papers. Here are some tips about getting into the publishing game.
當你進入這個發表的階段時,小心別陷入自娛的境界,你得暫時忍住你所鍾愛的動植物研究或對於世間真理的深度探索。如果你沒有發表,你將找不到一份研究工作。您必須要持續地發表在國際間認可的專業期刊中。如果你沒有研究好發表,你只得放棄研究這條路了。這說來很殘忍但有其道理,因為科學研究是一個樂於挑戰和實現理想的過程。這是因為科學是存在於知識共享的過程之中,在您的研究結果無法有效地傳揚之前,您的研究結果對於整個科學領域而言是並不存在。「發表論文」是研究工作的一部分,直到文章發表出去,這才意味著該研究工作的結束。所以你必須掌握住如何寫出簡潔扼要且高品質論文的技能。以下是幾點有關發表的方法:
  1. Co-author a paper with someone who has more experience. Approach a professor who is working on an interesting project and offer your services in return for a junior authorship. He’ll appreciate the help and will give you lots of good comments on the paper because his name will be on it.
    與一些有經驗的前輩合作發表。跟有共同研究興趣的教授合作,如果他願意,他會給你的發表有所幫助。將他共同署名為論文的作者以為回報,他將會很感激並給你的論文提供許多建議。 
  2. Do not expect your first paper to be world-shattering. A lot of eminent people began with a minor piece of work. The amount of information reported in the average scientific paper may be less than you think. Work up to the major journals by publishing one or two short - but competent - papers in less well-recognized journals. You will quickly discover that no matter what the reputation of the journal, all editorial boards defend the quality of their product with jealous pride - and they should!
    別期望你的第一篇論文就能一鳴驚人。許多傑出的科學家都是從很小的研究工作開始。由於學術論文所刊載的數量可能比你想像的要少,先在一些次要的期刊上發表一兩篇完整的論文後再逐漸地把投到主流的期刊中。在此過程中,你將會發現不管其期刊的名聲如何,所有主編都會盡責的全力維護期刊的品質。
  3. If it is good enough, publish your research proposal as a critical review paper. If it is publishable, you’ve probably chosen the right field to work in.
    如果你的研究計劃已經足夠完美,那麼可以把它發表成以評論性的文章。如果能夠發表,那代表你可能已經選擇了對的領域,由此可以繼續開展您的研究。
  4. Do not write your thesis as a monograph. Write it as a series of publishable manuscripts, and submit them early enough so that at least one or two chapters of your thesis can be presented as reprints of published articles.
    別把你的論文寫成大部頭的專論。而是要把你的論文寫成一系列可以發表的文章,然後盡快投出去,如此在您進行學位論文答辯前,至少此論文中的一兩章已成為刊登的文章。
  5. Buy and use a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Read it before you sit down to write your first paper, then read it again at least once a year for the next three or four years. Day’s book, How to Write a Scientific Paper, is also excellent.
    至於寫作技術上,購買一本William Strunk和E. P. White合著的「Elements of Style」。在你準備開始動筆之前,請仔細閱讀此書,然後常常參考著它來寫作。Robert Day的「How to Write a Scientific Paper」也是本不錯的寫作指南。
  6. Get your work reviewed before you submit it to the journal by someone who has the time to criticize your writing as well as your ideas and organization.
    在投稿之前,需留點時間找位能夠對你的寫作、想法和表達做修改的人來潤稿。
*譯按:研究與發表是投身到這時期的主要「工作」,悟哲理、想架構、求方法、撈資料、跑實驗,這是上半場,但已弄得全身髒兮兮的,所以有人稱作Dirty work,至於下半場雖然能夠全身整潔而斯文幹活,但也需暗潮洶湧的在文字、數據、圖表間對戰。這真是一場絕對要能自High的遊戲。但如何把這麼好玩的結果傳播給他人知道,是作者在此段要探討,有人甚至早在研究的架構階段就發表,雖然不是採用期刊的方式,而是用Working paper的型態讓大家欣賞,但這也是發表,經濟研究領域都知道NBER或OECD這些研究機構的Working paper早已超越「品牌期刊」的等級,因此我們要探究「發表的意義」更甚於「發表的形式」,簡而言之就是讓您的知識產出結果讓世人知道。

Don’t Look Down on a Master’s Thesis. 別輕忽碩論

The only reason not to do a master’s is to fulfill the generally false conceit that you’re too good for that sort of thing. The master’s has a number of advantages.
不削碩論的唯一理由常是自視甚高的以為自己沒必要做碩論這類的事。其實完成碩士論文有許多好處:
  1. It gives you a natural way of changing schools if you want to. You can use this to broaden your background. Moreover, your ideas on what constitutes an important problem will probably be changing rapidly at this stage of your development. Your knowledge of who is doing what, and where, will be expanding rapidly. If you decide to change universities, this is the best way to do it. You leave behind people satisfied with your performance and in a position to provide well-informed letters of recommendation. You arrive with most of your PhD requirements satisfied.
    去讀碩士會讓您有個機會去換學校,而你可以正可利用這一點來拓展你的研究基底。此外,在此時期你會對所研究領域中「重要問題的結構」會有極大的改觀。你會迅速瞭解到研究領域中的人時地物。如果你打算換學校,讀碩士會是一個好的方式。當您離開您已有傑出表現的學校時,他們會給你一封很力的推薦信。於是你已經滿足了攻讀博士的要求。
  2. You get much-needed experience in research and writing in a context less threatening than doctoral research. You break yourself in gradually. In research, you learn the size of a soluble problem. People who have done master’s work usually have a much easier time with the PhD.
    念碩士可以你積累許多研究中必備的經驗並且能夠在比攻讀博士所須承受的風險環境下撰寫論文。你可以逐漸超越你自己。在研究中你見識到了解決問題的難易度。 因此有經歷過碩士階段的人們常常會更加容易完成博士的研究。
  3. You get a publication.
    念碩士讓您有論文發表的機會。
  4. What’s your hurry? If you enter the job market too quickly, you won´t be well prepared. Better to go a bit more slowly, build up a substantial background, and present yourself a bit later as a person with more and broader experience.
    不用急,如果你太早開始找研究的工作,你可能還沒有完全準備好。最好稍待一下,先逐漸增強你的研究基礎,然後才能展現出見多識廣。
*譯按:在歐美攻讀碩士對於是否撰寫學位論文而達畢業要求並無統一規定,有些學校僅用修課與考試通過作為畢業資格審核,因此歐美碩士並非每位都有其學位論文。然而到了攻讀博士階段卻是時時要求「知識產出」也就是論文發表,以致本文作者會敦促想進入研究領域的學子,要先有碩論基礎,再來攻讀博士,如此較為穩當。其次在碩論階段就嘗試發表可為博士研究的行前預備。 如同作者所言,我在博士班初期在忙於博士候選人資格取得的階段,其發表業績端靠碩士階段的研究結果來支撐。在投稿失敗與重寫之間不斷的淬鍊碩論的內容,最後終於把論文「賣了」出去,也為博班時期的發表貢獻了一些業績。所以我也建議各位別浪費您的碩論,您的心血之作,就好好的運用到底,榨乾它吧!

    Publish Regularly, But Not Too Much. 穩定的發表,重質不重量

    The pressure to publish has corroded the quality of journals and the quality of intellectual life. It is far better to have published a few papers of high quality that are widely read than it is to have published a long string of minor articles that are quickly forgotten. You do have to be realistic. You will need publications to get a post-doc, and you will need more to get a faculty position and then tenure. However, to the extent that you can gather your work together in substantial packages of real quality, you will be doing both yourself and your field a favor.
    發表論文的壓力不僅已經侵蝕了期刊的品質與此同時也侵蝕了知識的壽命。能夠發表幾篇能夠被廣為流傳的好論文會比發表一些迅速被人遺忘的小文章要來的好。 你得面對現實的是,你需要發表論文來獲得博士後的機會,並發表更多的論文來獲得一個教職,如此直至獲得終身職。於此,如果你能把你的研究持續發表成一系列的好論文,那麼對於你個人還是你的研究領域,都是很有貢獻的。
    Most people publish only a few papers that make any difference. Most papers are cited little or not at all. About 10% of the articles published receive 90% of the citations. A paper that is not cited is time and effort wasted. Go for quality, not for quantity. This will take courage and stubbornness, but you won’t regret it. If you are publishing one or two carefully considered, substantial papers in good, refereed journals each year, you’re doing very well - and you’ve taken time to do the job right.
    多數人的發表中只有少數文章能有夠引起重大影響。大多數文章的被引用數會很少,甚至沒有被引用。要知道,90%的引用是僅約10%的論文所貢獻而來。沒有被引用的文章都成為時間與精力的浪費。追求高質量,而不是數量,這需要勇氣和毅力,但是你不會因此而後悔。如果你能夠發表一至兩篇精雕細琢的好研究,並且每年被持續引用,代表您的研究做得很好,同時也說明著你有善用時光。


    Acknowledgements Thanks to Frank Pitelka for providing an opportunity, to Ray Huey for being a co-conspirator and sounding board and for providing a number of the comments presented here, to the various unknown graduate students who kept these ideas in circulation, and to Pete Morin for suggesting that I write them up for publication.

    Some Useful References. 推薦一些實用的參考書

    • Day, R.A. 1983. How to write and publish a scientific paper. 2nd ed. iSi Press, Philadephia. 181 pp. wise and witty.
    • Smith, R.V. 1984. Graduate research - a guide for students in the sciences. iSi Press, Philadelphia. 182 pp. complete and practical.
    • Strunk, W. Jr, and E.B. White.1979. The elements of style. 3rd Ed. Macmillan, New York. 92 pp. the paradigm of concision.
    Stephen C. Stearns
    Professor of Zoology
    Zoologisches Institut der Universtät Basel
    Rheinsprung 9
    CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland

    譯跋:
    Prof. Steatns 雖然是生科領域的研究者,但他這篇文章卻道盡了所有以研究為終身志趣的人們在進入學術殿堂之前要有的心理準備。我自己也在轉譯的過程中看見自己走過的路,真的所言不假。從碩士論研究發表,轉戰到博士論研究發表,這過程中不斷地嘗試與挫敗,雖然早已從研究生走到了研究者階段,沿途仍然跌跌撞撞的走到現在,但更要感謝這沿路的同儕與恩師們的協助而能行走。我自己早年也是受益於Strunk, W. Jr, and E.B. White所著的 The elements of style. 3rd Ed.這本小手冊,所以也推薦給大家。
    您可以在此下載電子版 https://faculty.washington.edu/heagerty/Courses/b572/public/StrunkWhite.pdf
    黃鴻鈞 謹識