Category Archives: ask a scatterbrain

(grad)student-faculty interaction

Notre Dame loves to make videos. They are currently working on a series about graduate students’ experiences on campus and I had a meeting with the production company today to discuss one of the videos, a segment focused on (grad)student-faculty interaction. As great as the meeting was, I left feeling incredibly discouraged about the state […]

becoming a master student.

I often tell my students that the course that changed my life was Introduction to Sociology. Today I realized that I’ve been lying to them, or to myself, all this time. The class that truly changed my life was Human Development 100.

ask a scatterbrain: post-review changes not suggested by reviewers

On behalf of an anonymous reader: After submitting an article to a journal, I have received a revise & resubmit decision along with two reviewer reports. The changes suggested by the reviewers and the editor seem reasonable and doable. However, it has occurred to me after I received the reports that the statistical model I […]

latex beamer is failing me – help!

I know some scatterbrains use LaTeX and the beamer class to produce lecture slides and notes. I have done so for years, using the following syntax at the top to produce the handouts: \pgfpagesuselayout{2 on 1}[letterpaper,portrait,border shrink=5mm] \setbeameroption{show notes} But just today it’s freaking out on me, producing output with the page size clearly wrong […]

ask a scatterbrain: sharing code and data

This from an anonymous correspondent: Making data and code available for other researchers is an important tool for promoting replication, discovering errors, and advancing research agendas. However, how to handle the ownership situation? In this case, a junior scholar who worked for a long time on a tricky piece of code, using publicly available data, […]

are you looking for this?

In scanning the recent search terms that have landed people at scatterplot, I think some readers might be gearing up for fall transitions (or hoping for future transitions) and are interested in finding: The current (and last year’s) sociology job market rumor mill/forum. Advice for assistant professors. Advice for your first time teaching. A thorough […]

a brave new world.

This weekend the NY Times ran a story on 32 innovations that will change your tomorrow. Some are cool, others are a little scary, and more than a few are completely unnecessary (e.g., a Jetson-esque machine exclusively for washing and drying your hair). This weekend I also got an email from a textbook publisher telling […]

ask a scatterbrain: self-citation in works in progress

Is there a standard way to indicate that an author has cut and paste a chunk of text from an earlier work into a work-in-progress? As I move from one part of a larger project to another, I like to plunk down chunks of text as placeholders to frame the argument, provide theoretical or historical […]

bleg: favorite network visualization software?

I am beginning an analysis that involves network visualizations. I’m in good shape with respect to the statistical analysis of the networks, but am in less good shape with respect to visualization. If it matters, this is a network of texts as nodes and the ties are co-occurrences of topics and themes. I’d like to […]

professors unplugged.

I just received my invitation to participate in the 4th Annual “Professors Unplugged.” While it sounds to me like it’s an evening of professors who have gone off the deep end, it’s also actually a talent show hosted by the College of First Year Studies – a forum for faculty to “showcase their talents that […]

ask a scatterbrain: too few papers for my asa session

A reader writes: I agreed to organize a Regular Session for Denver. Disappointingly, there are only three papers submitted, and one of those was transferred in from a Section. Is there a norm of recruiting submissions to one’s session? If so, I wish I had known. And more importantly: Now what? I am considering accepting […]

reading and annotating on iPad

I am mulling the possibility ofmoving to iPad for use in reading, marking up, and filing PDF articles. For the past few years I’ve used a tabletlaptop which lets me write comments on the PDF and save the comments without printing out. I would like to be able to do that on the iPad. Does […]

scatterbleg: income and altruistic wishes

My wife is working on a project that demonstrates, among other things, that lower-income adolescents report “wishes” on a survey that are more for themselves, such as housing, cars, etc., where higher-income adolescents report more wishes that are altruistic for the world, e.g., the end of global warming or poverty. She is looking for sociological […]

ask a scatterbrain: training grads in research ethics

One of the many wonderful sociologists I chatted with in Vegas was Iowa’s Mary Campbell, a loyal scatterplot reader. She asked me to pose a question to you (and I’m hoping in my post-Vegas/ASA/first-week-of-classes haze I remember its essence – if I don’t, I blame Andrew Perrin pushing appletinis at the bloggettogether): Apparently the University […]

ask a scatterbrain: journal submission length

Posted by request of a reader: Some journals have maximum length guidelines for manuscripts that one submits, perhaps in page count or word length. If a journal’s guide to authors says that the maximum length is, say, a maximum of 9,000 words, what gets included in that word count if the guidelines do not explicitly […]


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