September 29, 2007

Today's Sneaky Tip for Academics

Say you've got a colleague who is organising the paper reviewing for an upcoming conference, and sends you one or more papers to review. By all means, do the reviewing as early as you can, it leaves more time to reflect and to do a good job on the review.

But, don't send the reviews just after you've done them to get them off your to-do list. Leave it until the last minute. After you've finished the reviews, set yourself an electronic reminder to yourself to send them to your colleague just before the deadline.

Why, I hear you ask? If you send it early, then your colleague may be delighted to hear that you have no reviews left to do, and will instantly send you those one or two papers he has left that he couldn't find reviewers for, with a plaintive plea for help.

Don't make work for yourself by looking too efficient.