The illusive high impact paper
On a day when I am feeling increasingly dismal about the publication prospects of my current project, my mood was not lightened with the arrival of the table of contents for the current issue of a very high impact journal (say, cell/nature/science). One of the papers was right up my research alley and the lead author is someone junior to me. Why is it that the other guy is getting a very high profile paper and I'm struggling to get results that will merit publication at all?
I did my PhD in theoretical computer science, where high impact papers (high impact outside your own field, that is) are few and far between, and I didn't really expect to write high impact papers then.
Now I'm doing bioinformatics, and that is a hot field, so now I do want to, but I am not particularly successful. There's a few that have received some interest, in particularly this one about the speciation of humans, but I wasn't the first author on that.
Lately, I do not seem to manage to be first author on any paper...
I'm in the weird situation where I am not senior enough to be last author on any paper, but I am spending too much time on too many different projects that I can focus enough on a single project to expect to be first author on a paper.
I feel like I've substituted quantity of publications for quality. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself, so I just need to change my working habits, I guess. Spending too much time blogging probably doesn't help either.
Great, now I'm depressed. What a way to start the day... Oh well, I'll head to the office to get some work done, that should cheer me up!