How writing your paper from the beginning of your research changes everything.

In the current academic world, publishing is more than ever a question of survival. It is important that your latest amazing results are out there instead of only in your computer (or in your head).

Of course, depending on the field, the rate at which you can publish varies. But let’s have a look at how one among the best is doing. George M. Whitesides is a famous chemist who has a h-index of 195 (yes, this is the value on Scopus February 2017). Why am I talking about a chemist? Well, because he has shared his way of publishing by writing… yes a paper. The ideas of his paper are summarised in this video (a bit old school but plenty of good ideas).

I also came across a video of Simon Peyton Jones including this idea of starting the paper since the beginning among others.

Here are the main advantages of starting the paper as early as possible:

  1. It forces you to be organised and motivates you to move forward;
  2. A structured paper (or even an outline) is a great way to present your idea to your supervisor and ask for feedback;
  3. Writing your ideas makes them real and exposes potential flaws that you cannot see if the idea stays in your head;
  4. It is a very nice support for your literature review and defines clearly what is the contribution to your idea/paper;
  5. Having things organised helps defining what are the experiments/simulations needed to support the points you are presenting in your paper.

So please start as early as possible and ask for feedback.


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