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Reviewing books during your doctorate: Is sincerity the best politics?
Early in my doctoral thesis, a leading scientist said that if I ever wanted an academical carreer, I should have a book report published in my first year. Of course, I didn't release a book report in my first year. I have always loved to read book reviews: not only can they really help you saving your life, but the fistfights that take place in the reviews of magazines are a great way to get the country's lies.
It can be quite nasty in the area in which I work - as I can see it in most others (if you're looking for a good reading, reviews of works by Michael Seidman or Julius Ruiz are usually quite entertaining). Indecisiveness in the early phases of your doctorate and your professional life is not necessarily a poor thing - as Ph.
Continue reading: Doctoral candidates abroad - where is the obligation to exercise due diligence?
Tell a classmate I was doing a book report and I got that answer: "But what if you didn't like the book? How clever is it, then, to send a bad press release in the first few workdays? In order to judging by the hundreds of relatively benevolent reviews out there, it seems many folks, especially at the beginning of their career, are reluctant to toss their hats into the ring.
A lot of reviews seem to be largely a synopsis of chapters, followed by a mysterious phrase or two at the end about the work' scholarly importance. You can certainly conserve your precious hunt and otherwise spend your precious resources on those rare items that prove to be inconvenient. Making a synopsis can also be a useful practice in itself.
Book reviews are an important self-regulatory mechanisms in science, so in this respect self-censorship among young scientists is actually quite upsetting. Even if frank reviews were to a certain extent always reserved for safe employees, a reduction in job offers in conjunction with an increasing number of doctoral candidates will intensify fears about making and maintaining "contacts".
In the murderous scientific community, being an asshole can be to your benefit. However, certainly graduates are used to criticizing their work..... and the odds that they will even be reading a little doctoral student's report written from their damp, cat-infested hut are quite slim.
Nevertheless, many postgraduates are uncomfortable when they write bad reviews. And, although Britain has not quite achieved the dizzying levels of nations like Spain, where cronyism is a serious issue, I would venture an assumption that many (most?) of the Ph. D. candidates in Britain would prefer to be cautious when they write reviews - at least until they achieve the security of a stable position.