don’t be a BAW – Badly-behaved Academic Writer

Are you a “BAW”? Have you been guilty of acting like one? Read on!


I was recently asked to talk to doctoral researchers about bad academic behaviour. Not in general, but bad behaviour specifically in relation to writing for publication. I came up with the following list.

The Badly-behaved Academic Writer, or BAW for short –

(1) has a hissy fit (that is, writes a hasty angry email to the editor) when they get their not-as-good-as-they-wanted reviews back from the journal. Oh dear. Tantrums with the journal editor go nowhere and just get the BAW a bad name.

(2) presents a sloppy analysis. The BAW hasn’t checked their sums or their analysis carefully enough. Any reader who either rechecks their original data – or perhaps even the workings in the paper – will find mistakes. A reputational risk.

(3) much worse – tells lies. if the BAW has engaged in deliberate falsification, then it’s seriously serious. The BAW risks being banned from the particular…

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