musings on music and life

November 15, 2012

First paper published

Filed under: Chemistry — Tags: , — sankirnam @ 6:24 pm

So my first paper was published approximately a month ago: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022113912002497

This was the result of about 8 months’ work, working 14-16 hour days, seven days a week. All that came was this paper in a low impact factor journal which may or may not be read or even cited. Again, this is why I tell people to stay out of science – the effort:reward ratio is not worth it.

I had finished this work by October 2009 and had to put aside writing it as I had to work on my PhD qualifying examinations. I am going on record here to state that I am not happy with the writing in the paper and how it turned out. I offered several times to help with the writing and was rudely rebuffed each time, stating that “I should get my priorities straight and finish my exams”. I also did the bulk of the experimental work in this paper (about 80%) and did not get first authorship just because I did not have the privilege of actually authoring the paper. I was shown a final draft before publication and aired my concerns then – I was given a copy to proofread and make corrections. I ended up being very liberal with my red pen, and the person editing it at the time told me that “I should show more respect to my seniors and recognize my place in the hierarchy” when I offered to rewrite the paper from scratch in order to make it more stylistically pleasing.

Anyway, the paper is about a new methodology to make fluorinated compounds using fluorinated crotonic acids as building blocks. The acid is dissolved in trifluoromethanesulfonic (triflic) acid, which enables it to undergo a tandem Friedel-Crafts acylation and alkylation with aromatics. This is an example of superelectrophilic activation, which is one of the topics of my PhD research. I will go into detail on this topic in a later post.

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