My milestones in academia
This story has been shared by prominent Twitter personality Witty Academic Librarian (@WittyAcademic_).
I attended a distance learning library science program, and in order to get the full experience, I wanted to be engaged with faculty to some extent. I played the academic game, as if I were enrolled in a doctoral program and asked a couple of the faculty in the department whether there were any research projects they would like further assistance with.
I did not have any publications at this point, but I did have nine or ten local and regional conference presentations under my belt, and I thought this was an advantage for me (Thanks Dr. M and Dr. K!). I inquired about their research, told them about my own research interests, and thus, a collaboration was born. This collaboration has allowed me to serve as a paid research assistant on two occasions (once as a graduate student, and once as a post-graduate). I was able to collaborate with five faculty in this department, resulting in four peer-reviewed publications and one non-refereed publication.
My first first-authored publication (in collaboration with my advisor) was really neat to work on. It took around a year and a half from start (IRB submission) to finish (reviewer comments). It definitely made the amount of work worth it to see it included in the journal. I wanted to continue my work with psychology, so luckily I was able to examine a certain behavior with a psychological theory AND examine the behaviors of psychologists specifically. I think the most special moment, for me, was having this work accepted at a conference (before the manuscript was complete). This validated that the work I was doing was legitimate, and it also helped to reduce some of those impostor syndrome feelings us academics like to pretend we don’t have.
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