Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Don't mind the grad student

Working on a conference paper. The obstacle: two recently-published books, neither of which I've yet read, only one of which I'll have a chance to read before presenting (unless Interlibrary Loan comes through), might turn out to contain exactly what I was planning to present. Might. Seems like not, from articles I've read that (I think?) turned into chapters of these books. But there's always the danger that (goes the chorus) Every Idea I've Ever Had Has Already Been Published.

One possibility: Spin the paper, which comes out of something I was working on pre-dissertation and is about a tangentially related topic, into something more relevant for the dissertation, which I'm fairly certain (from much much searching around, and from asking those far more knowledgeable than myself) is on the one idea I've had that has yet to already have been done, and better, by someone else. Which... will have to be done eventually, but would require more work than can possibly be done before I present the thing, and would mean not ever getting to present this other apparently viable paper that I've been working on at this point since forever.

Another possibility: Set aside for an hour, eat lunch, drink massive amount of coffee, and then take another look.

Yet another possibility: These look good, don't they?


Jeff said...

But there's always the danger that (goes the chorus) Every Idea I've Ever Had Has Already Been Published.

At least this is never a problem when studying cheapness, where there's always new nuances and angles to study.

Nick said...

Google books? Amazon preview?

Nick said...

...also many books are just rehashes of prior papers by the authors. you could also check the publisher's website to get a TOC to help you look.

Phoebe said...


I'm going to borrow one of the books from a prof, but the other doesn't seem to be a sum-of-previous-articles situation. I'm also going to assume that I'm not only wrong but wrong in such a unique way that whatever my take is, it doesn't overlap with anything anyone's ever published.