In case you were looking for another X-number-of-things-in-2018 challenge, here’s one that could actually benefit you professionally:
#365papers. Rather unsurprisingly, it does precisely what it says on the tin: your goal is to read and record an academic paper each day in 2018.
To me, it seems both easily achievable (how long does it take to read just one paper, after all?) and overly ambitious (maybe
#120papers would be more doable). I’d imagine it has a lot to do with your contractual load, as well; those who teach heavily and have no research component may be more hard pressed to carve out time to read stacks of literature, while those with research lines would likely be doing this, anyway. I fall into the former camp, so... should be interesting.
How you’d go about this is entirely up to you. Want to use the abstract, intro, conclusion (AIC) method and count that as a paper for the day? Go for it. Feel guilty about skimming and only counting a full-on deep reading? You do you. Personally, I like Brook’s version, as it reflects what I think is the real goal of the challenge, which is less about the numbers and more about the accomplishments:
I’m going to try to read
#365papersthis year. My own rules: a chapter counts as a paper, a paper I’m peer-reviewing counts, and it doesn’t have to be one paper a day for 365 days, but rather on average. I’ll keep track in this thread. Suggestions for papers welcome!
— Brook Danielle Lillehaugen (@blillehaugen) January 1, 2018
I doubt I’d read one paper every single day, too. Some days I’m drowning in meetings and classes, after all. This goal is a good way to make use of all that calendaring you’ve done to schedule time for yourself and some deep work. (You’ve done that, right?)
Also, how you go about tracking it is entirely up to you, as well. There’s been folks doing their recording using R and Github (which, I have to admit, is seriously cool), others have written extensively about their experiences with it in years past, and some even share it on Instagram. I’ve got my own list that I’ll be editing and maintaining throughout the year over on my own website and I’ll be posting updates to Twitter using the
#365papers hashtag but doing the statistical analysis of it is looking better and better the more I think about it.
Whether you’re doing it for public accountability—Natalie has written about the benefits of sharing your goals and and Anastasia relates joining a writing group with using a pedometer—or it just sounds like too much fun, you’re just under two weeks behind if you’re reading this the day it’s published.
Are you already doing
#365papers this year? Considering it now? Avoiding it like the plague? Let us know in the comments!