Is That Paper You’re Writing Really Two Papers?

Posted on February 9, 2012 by

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It is often useful to split a “big” paper into several smaller, tasty appetizers.

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Have you ever found yourself struggling to cram too many results and ideas into that 6-page conference paper limit? Maybe you should take the hint and split it into smaller pieces. Here are a few good reasons to split papers in two:

1. Clarity: Papers are just better if they are about one idea instead of eight. Readers get confused if you’re simultaneously trying to argue about several things at once.

2. Ease: It’s easier to write a paper that’s about one thing. It’s more difficult to explain all the connections necessary to support a paper about many things.

3. Depth and Completeness: You should give your great ideas the respect they deserve by providing them full coverage. If you reserve an entire paper for one idea, you will have the room you need.

4. Compartmentalization can work against you: Readers typically assume one paper has one idea.  If you cram several ideas into one paper, only one of them is going to “stand out” as the idea that the paper is about.  The other good ideas may be forever lost to your reading public.

5. Marketing: More papers with distinct ideas makes it look like, well, you’ve got a lot of ideas! Help people know the real you.

6. Search Engine Optimization: More distinct paper titles means people are more likely to find your work.

Questions?

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