modernwizard: (Default) get a person accustomed to a looooooooong view of scheduling. I just slated an article for publication in January, 2014! 

The award for the article I have scheduled furthest from its pub date, though, goes to one that I designated in October, 2012 for publication in October, 2013.
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I came across the following citation in a manuscript today, notable because all the authors share a surname:

Huang X, Huang Y, Huang T, Huang W, Huang Z. Individual pulmonary vein imaging by transthoracic echocardiography: an inadequate traditional interpretation. Eur J Echocardiogr. 2008;9(5):655-660.

I wonder what the odds of that are? To calculate them, we'd have to factor in the number of people in China [authors' country of origin], the number of people named Huang in China, etc. Even if it's a really common surname [which it is, according to Wikipedia, which knows all and is always accurate], that's still unusual.

P.S. Huang/Wong is pretty popular, ranking seventh after Wang/Wong, Li/Lee, Zhang/Chang, Liu/Lau, Chen/Chan and Yang/Yeung. Names are fascinating!

modernwizard: (Default)
...when an author from the US states that he is "righting" to inquire on his submission status?
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Well, my to do list expanded to 28 items, but I still managed to get 16 of them done! Go me!
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...has 26 items on it! Let's see how many I can cross off by the end of the day aujourd'hui!
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This morning I was all excited about Word's Compare function making my job much easier. I shared the good news with my supervisor, who seemed unfamiliar with the function, and my coworker. Apparently my coworker has been using the Compare function since she was trained on manuscript processing last summer. In all the intensive training that I had with her in recent months, she never passed this information along to me. So very frustrated.
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One of the most tedious, nitpicky and all-around wretched parts of my job is to compare the clean revised manuscript files to the annotated manuscript files [where the authors explicitly show what has been changed]. In particular, we compare the figure legends in the clean to the figure legends in the annotated. Sometimes authors will make changes in one document, but not the other, and we need to know which is the correct version.

As it currently stands, we open up the clean and annotated legends in side-by-side windows in Word and read them, looking for differences. You can imagine the potential for human error that creeps in. You can also imagine how much time this takes if the average manuscript has maybe 45 images, each with a legend. You can imagine how much I hate doing this.

So, when I don't like doing something, I look for a way around it, either by delegating it to someone else or automating it. In this case, I can't delegate the cross-checking, and I don't want to, because then I'd have to cross-check the delegate's work, which would waste more time.

Automation it is! I said to myself, "MS Word is a bloated and hugely overpowered program. It's got to have some feature that can compare documents and compile a list of changes, right?" Why yes, yes it does.

I quickly Googled the topic and came up with several sites, most of which didn't help me because they talked about merging the documents into one, which I do not wish to do. Eventually I discovered this series of instructions, and I made two files, one of the clean legends and one of the annotated legends. Then I compared them.

Less than 5 seconds later, I had a list of differences between the documents. It was mind-blowingly simple. It saved me so much time! I need to research this more, but soon I shall tell my coworkers, and we can institute this procedure and become much more efficient.

I'm mostly excited because I think I've found a way to accomplish the same results as the human-powered cross-checking, but without any of the tedium and error.
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Corresponding author: Here is a submission that we hope will be published in your journal.

Me: No thanks. [supplies rejection letter]

[Ten months go by.]

Same corresponding author: Here is a new submission that we hope will be published in your journal.

Me: No thanks. This is the exact same thing that you gave us [some time] ago. We actually rejected this before, under [date] and [manuscript number], so we cannot consider it again.

Sometimes authors submit the exact same thing again because they forgot that they submitted it the first time. And sometimes authors try to sneak stuff by us. >_>
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I use Windows 7 at work and Microsoft Word 2010. Sometimes it opens files in windows that are half the size of the screen, rather than the full size of the screen. Since my default display settings include a navigation pane for the document I'm working on, Word's decision to open things in half-screen windows automatically cuts off the right half of each document, necessitating a manual adjustment on the window size, which is a pain.

I finally got fed up with this today and searched for a way to make Word automatically open documents in full-size windows. This is what I found:

Right click on the Microsoft Word shortcut, either in the start menu or on the desktop.

Left click on Properties.

Go to the Shortcut tab.

Under the Run dropdown menu, select Maximized.

Hit Apply or Okay.

Swear at your Microsoft products a little bit less.

Well, that was counterintuitive. Control over the size of new Word windows has nothing to do with the program shortcut's properties. It has to do with display options.

I'm beginning to think that Word was designed by programmers who wanted to stuff as many features as possible into the app, rather than people who wanted to create an accessible, intuitive, user-friendly program.
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As part of my job, I communicate with authors about the status of their manuscripts, including format correction letters, revision letters, resubmission letters, "Where is your overdue review?" letters, etc. The ways in which the authors address me are alternately frustrating and amusing.

I've had authors address me as "Dr. Allen," which is hilarious. They must assume that anyone involved in a medical journal is automatically a doctor. Well, the editor is a doctor, as are the associate editors and editorial board members, but not the editorial staff.

I've had authors address me as "Miss Allen," which is somewhat irritating, but kind of understandable. A lot of the authors are international, and their primary language may not have an equivalent of "Ms.," so they go with "Miss." Fine.

What really grates my cheese, though, is when authors address me as "Mrs. Allen." Apparently they assume that, just because I come across as a woman belonging to a certain cohort, I must be in a [hetero] marriage. They also assume that, even if I were married, I should be called "Mrs." Nope, it's "Ms." all the way, bucko.

I'm just waiting for when we get married, and someone calls up or sends mail to "Mrs. [My Spouse's Name]," like I'm completely subsumed into her identity. "That person does not exist. Goodbye."

While I'm on the subject, it's my name, mine mine mine, and I'm keeping it. Just as I don't change identity when I marry, so I don't change my name [or my honorific]. What a silly, misogynist, insulting assumption that I would.

Since I'm here, I should also tell you to call me either by the name I introduce myself as or the name prominently featured in my E-mail signature. Anyone who automatically calls me by some nickname available to those people who have my name will be glared at, corrected and dealt a swift kick in the butt [well, the last mentally at least].

I'm feeling a lot of outrage these days.
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Me: Please include your complete title page when submitting your revision.

Corresponding author 1: [includes abbreviated title page containing title and nothing else]

Me: Please include your complete title page when submitting your revision.

Corresponding author 2: [includes abbreviated title page containing title and nothing else]

Me: Please include your complete title page when submitting your revision.

Corresponding author 3: [includes abbreviated title page containing title and nothing else]

Me: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?
modernwizard: (Default)
...for BJDs. I thought I would keep them all on one shelf of a bookshelf, but that shelf only holds Janvier Jet, Lola Paprika, Araminthe, Sardonix, Sarah, Submit and Noodge. Dorothy is on the shelf below, which is fine because she's only 14cm. Flower, Ginevra and Mellifer are on my desk, along with Nathaniel [who recently arrived], but my desk is also where the Me and My Muses dolls have a staging area and photo studio, so I have to move the hordes once a week when I shoot episodes.

Clearly the solution is to bring a few people to work! I have nothing on my walls anyway; my only decoration consists of a few toys. [My sweatshirt over the back of my chair does not count as decor.]

I should get a reference books! That's it. To be fair, I do have some reference books, looking pretty silly, sitting on top of my filing cabinet. All 4 of them can go on the bookcase, and so can the some of the small populations.

While I'm at it, I should order a bulletin board.

While I'm also at it, I need to rid myself of all those 1:3 clothes I don't want.
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Me: Your references are out of order. [explains where the problems are and how to fix them]

Corresponding Author: I fixed them. [provides updated document with lingering errors]

Me: Your references are still out of order. [explains where the problems are and how to fix them]

Corresponding Author: Now I fixed them. [provides updated document with lingering errors]

Me: >_<

My Supervisor: Let the manuscript editors deal with it.

Manuscript Editors: >:(
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I have graduated to processing solicited manuscripts without having to run my checklists and correspondence by my coworker! \o/
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Me: Please lengthen your 250-word abstract to 500 words.

Corresponding Author: [supplies 419-word expanded abstract]

Me: 419 =/= 500!
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Whenever I open files from the Web [where I do most of my work through an online manuscript processing system] and want to save them somewhere, Windows defaults to the My Documents folder. This pisses me off, as I would much rather use my desktop a) as storage for most frequently used documents and b) as a staging area for temporary files that will soon be filed elsewhere, then deleted.

Somehow, though, yelling, "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAVE IT TO THE DESKTOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" does not change the default saving location.

Eventually, I figured out this morning how to change the default saving location to my desktop. I certainly didn't learn how to do this by right-clicking on something or using a contextual help menu or anything so easy. No, I had to type "change default save location windows 7" into Google and find the answer on a techy how-to Web site.

This is one of the reasons I hate Windows sometimes. It may be easier to get under the hood of Windows machines than, say, Macs, but you don't necessarily have any clue about what to do once you're there. There's a way to do pretty much anything you want to in Windows, but the challenge is finding this information, which is often hidden under right-clicks and submenus.

Don't even get me started on the latest redesign of Windows Media Player. In previous versions, you used to have the options of scrolling through your music up and down in lists of relatively unadorned text. I really like that method because I can see a greater amount of information in one glance.

Windows Media Player seems to have done away with that display option in favor of some sort of scrolling crapola left and right with clickable tiles of album covers. One gets only an album's worth of information on one screen, necessitating multiple scrolls to the left or right to get an idea of context. That's not how my mind works. Plus it's a huge waste of screen real estate.

Screw you, Windows Media Player. I want a media player that, you know, plays media, instead of making my entire collection into tiles that scroll from side to side. I'm finding another media player instead. YOU STINK.

P.S. Complaints about Windows are fine, but I don't want to hear about how much better your alternative operating system is. I am, however, interested in recommendations of alternative media players, as long as they play WMA files.
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Ugh, writing self-evaluations for work is so painful, as is determining goals for the coming year. I can't think of anyone I've met who finds these chores exciting and enjoyable.
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I was in the very awkward position today of trying to find out the sex of a coauthor of an article for which I was sending a revision letter. I wanted to include in the letter that the doctor needed to update their financial disclosure and wanted to give instructions on how to do so.

I couldn't use third-person plural pronouns or "his/her" because the company objects to those uses. In order to avoid really awkward phrasing, I wanted to find out this person's sex so I could use the correct pronouns, and the person's name was not giving me any clues.

I eventually found information about the person's sex and completed the instructions with the correct pronouns. This situation highlighted for me the English language's need for a broadly accepted gender-neutral pronoun. Third-person plural pronouns are fine to me, if only conservative institutions would stop having grammatical fits about them.

Interestingly enough, I mostly avoid the subject of people's sex in my job because pretty much everyone we deal with is a doctor, so we just address them by that title.
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"Verbiage" means either "verbosity" or "specific wording." Yeah, I know that. But what is this "verbage" I keep hearing about?

"Verbage" appears in contexts where "verbiage" is appropriate. Therefore, I think that "verbage" is a mispronunciation of "verbiage." I think it's kind of a stupid word, especially since "verbiage" is perfectly fine, but, the older I get, the more descriptivist and the less prescriptivist I become in my thoughts about language.

"Webinar" is still a stupid word, though.



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