Here’s something for those of us that go to some of the haughtier and more reputed schools:

I was visiting a friend out at one of those smaller “less regarded” schools a bit back and was taking a tour of his lab. Nice stuff in there, you know. These lesser known schools seem to do alright for themselves, thank you very much. Anyway, upon his desk I saw an unpublished – out for review – JACS communication written by a nanothingiee group we both are quite familiar with. Indeed, the lead author we distinctly recalled. Waaaaaayyy back at the ACS in San Fran at the poster session, we were walking around and introduced ourselves to this guy standing in front of his poster. Now… old boy (a graduate student) engaged us in some dialog about his poster and we were getting along famously, my friend asking most of the intelligent questions (I was still recovering from giving blood a few hours before and drinking multiple beers immediately after.) As conversations normally flow, he asked us where we were from. I told him my fine institution and my buddy told him his. I assume he wasn’t put off my by school, but the look on his face when my buddy told him where he was from was at first a “are you serious” chuckle, which melted into one of those “do they have a department” and finally to a resound, “I’m done with you.”

I stood there and watched it the whole time. So, my buddy being naive to the ways of the world, kept asking questions but the answers weren’t forthcoming any more. In fact, in the midst of a question my buddy was asking, the guy actually walked away from his poster and started talking to his friends.

Long story short, the guy’s JACS comm is sitting on his desk. His boss isn’t sure if he wants to accept it and wanted to get a feeling from one of his students. I know, for a fact, he’s too good of a person to allow his personal feelings for the asshole bog down his scientific judgment… but it’s a worthwhile lesson. Even at small unknown schools like Mississippi, they still review papers for top journals… so… try not to piss off the locals. Some of us remember you and remember your names and we too get first crack at reviewing an article.

Does your boss allow grad students to review papers?
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