Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Conference Paper, Technical Reports and Journals

If you are just starting your PhD, please read on carefully and get this into your head once and for all.

You are expected to write - successfully - for conferences and journals. Also, there is this thing called 'Technical Report'.

But lets face it. If at the end of your PhD, all you have in your arsenal is a bunch of 'Technical Reports', the jury is going to have a field-day executing you, if your sup. hasnt already done so.

Technical reports are very nice. You write whatever you think and draw diagrams whenever you feel like. If you are the type who hates writing, or rather has that 'writer's block' whenever you type -- Technical Reports are a great starting point to hone your skills and get the engine going.

"Write comprehensive technical reports" say my PhD mentors KC, EGD, General and Mowgli (i.e. friends finishing or having finished their PhD), " and you will have a great time writing your dissertation".

The million dollar question is - "In which sequence should i go ?
Is it:
(a) Technical Report (b) Conference (c) Journal
OR
(a) Conference (b) Technical Report (c) Journal

You see, the problem is that many of us need a motivation to write. Rather, most of us need an excuse not to. If you dont have a deadline, when do you start? Not to mention about finishing. As a result we 'procrastinate' (hope i got the spelling right). In the past, I have just rushed to conferences and let the technical-report be a to-do-later thing. This has let to numerous problems.

Therefore, no matter how odd it seems, always write technical report. But PLEASE do not stop at that. I have to start on a journal right now, so gotta go back to work ...and its a problem since I don't have a technical report this time. Maybe now you should read this one - Armando Paper Writing