Monday, October 23, 2017

The thrill is gone

One of the biggest challenges for me is to push through a work to publication, when I have figured everything out. Last week I was on Twitter telling the world about how awesome it feels when you finally figure out something -- a unique characteristic that unites a group a three undescribed taxa into a genus.

But then the thrill is gone. I have figured out that this is a new genus. I know that there are three new species. Now I have to show this to the rest of the world. But by this point there is nothing (or almost nothing) new to be discovered. I just have to spend endless hours taking photos, drawing and writing descriptions to persuade my peer community that these are indeed new taxa. But there is very little personal satisfaction in the process and this can slow down the process a bit.

Two new genera and at least five new species. 

When I was starting out as a graduate student, I was trying to maximize the number of papers I could get and sometimes published papers as"least publishable unit". Now I think I am at the opposite spectrum. Last week I submitted a paper where I was reviewing two genera (Dysanellus and Torobus). And for my next paper I seriously consider putting together a description of two NEW genera together.