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Etiquette, Process of Doing Collaborative Work?

  1. Oct 16, 2014 #1

    WWGD

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    Hi All,
    I am glad that a professor outside my school asked me if I would work with her. I had asked her a question
    about some problems I was working with , and she said she was interested in the same area, and she would like to write a paper with me. I said yes, of course, I would love to. She works in Boston, which is close-enough for me, so I asked her if we could meet in person at her school .
    But I have never done anything of this sort before. Can anyone suggest the etiquette, dynamics of these student-professor arrangements? What should I ask her when we meet? How do we discuss the topic to work on ? She is giving me an opportunity (she has written many good papers, I have not) , so I know it is up to her to have the deciding say on what we do, although of course, I too, should have some input on this. How is this usually addressed/dealt with?
    I don't know if I am overthinking it. Am I? Hope those with experience in these arrangements can give some ideas.
    Thanks,
    WWGD: What Would Gauss Do?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2014 #2

    Choppy

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    Given that she's the one with the more experience she'll probably have an idea of what the project is going to look like, but don't be afraid to propose your own ideas. In my experience it's easier to work with a student who knows what he or she wants to do and just needs some guidance than it is to work with a student who needs to have the entire map drawn out. When you do meet, make sure to ask questions until you're clear on how you and she will be contributing to the project. Don't be surprised if she's expecting you to do the majority of the work. Often the student-professor exchange comes down to mentorship in exchange for grunt work.

    Sometimes it may feel awkward to ask questions - jargon that you don't understand, how authorship on a paper is going to work, etc. but I think it's important to bite the bullet and be up front with your concerns rather than operate under assumptions that can potentially lead to disappointment.
     
  4. Oct 17, 2014 #3

    WWGD

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    Excellent, thanks, Choppy.
     
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