12 July 2012

In preparation

I finished a draft of my annual report for NESCent today. We're told to include all manuscripts, regardless of the stage in publication (in press, in review, submitted, in preparation). The first three are nice, easy, discrete categories, but I had trouble with the last. I understand my supervisors' need to comprehend my progress in research, but it seems a very vague term. I asked Twitter how people decided their paper was 'in preparation.' I received the variety of answers I had already considered, from barely a coherent thought to a complete paper that is not quite submitted.

I like the idea of coherence as a standard. For me, a manuscript 'in preparation' is a document that, at the very least, outlines the major themes of the paper. It should be coherent to someone familiar with the material (a labmate or similar peer in the field). I'm preparing to commit myself to my definition of 'in preparation.'

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