In a series of interesting views on how to make our accomplishments visible to other researchers and to produce impact in general with our research activities, Phillip E. Bourne has released a new article, this time on “Ten Simple Rules for Getting Ahead as a Computational Biologist in Academia”. In his new article, Bourne points to obvious (a posteriori) rules that may be important to be considered for a position. Such type of ideas, which are alike the ideas one can obtain from, let’s say, a course on business plan writing, have become more and more relevant in a world that is continuously changing and where your name is practically nothing in the middle of such an amount of competing names bearing similar or most of the times better quality, knowledge or perspectives.
At the end of the paper, Bourne emphasizes what is more important to me: sell yourself, but do not OVERsell yourself. In research we can find too many examples of people pushing sometimes too much the boundaries of what is their real knowledge (however good this may be) into the world of easy media and overacting. The problem is that not so careful referees (either of an academic article or a press release) become too impressed with the flashes (or having met this guy in that particular conference) and forget about addressing the actual quality of the information being released.