Again, what good is a blog if you can’t post your arbitrary idiosyncratic opinions as if you were an authority?
Don’t make a conference app
I get it, you can’t print a full-blown paper program book: it is too much, no one reads it, and it feels wasteful. But please, please, for the love of everything holy, don’t make an app. Put the text, straight up, on a website in plaintext. It loads quickly, it’s searchable, it can be automatically generated. The conference app will be cloddy, take up space on the phone, eat bandwidth on some strained mobile contract, and invariably freeze.
Posters, still bad in 2020
Don’t believe the lies: a once folded canvas poster will never look good again. You haven’t had fun on a conference before you’ve tried ironing a poster on a hostel floor with an iron that belongs in a museum.
Poster sessions are bad by necessity. If they had had space and time to be anything other than a crowded mess, the conference would have to accept substantially fewer posters. That means fewer participants, probably especially earlier career participants, and the value of having them outweighs the value of a somewhat better poster session.
Gene accession numbers
PLOS Genetics has a great policy in their submission guidelines that doesn’t seem to get followed very much in papers they actually publish. This should be the norm in every genetics paper. I feel bad that it’s not the case in all my papers.
As much as possible, please provide accession numbers or identifiers for all entities such as genes, proteins, mutants, diseases, etc., for which there is an entry in a public database, for example:
Mouse Genome Database (MGD)
Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)
Identifiers should be provided in parentheses after the entity on first use.
In the future, with the right ontologies and repositories in place, I hope this will be the case with traits, methods and so on as well.
UK Biobank and dbGAP are not open data
And that is fine.
Stop it with the work-life balance tweets
No-one should tweet about work-life balance; whether you write about how much you work or how diligent you are about your hours, it comes off as bragging.
Write your papers in the past or present tense, whichever you prefer. In the context of a scientific paper, the difference between past and present communicates nothing. I suppose you’re not supposed to mix tenses, but that doesn’t matter either. Most readers probably won’t notice. If you ask me about my stylistic opinion: present tense for everything. But again, it doesn’t matter.