Tenure September 8, 2006Posted by gordonwatts in physics life, university.
Him gathering up his materials reminds me of what happened when I was putting together mine. Part of the tenure review process at most universities is the tenure review committee wants a copy of every single paper you are an author on. For a particle physicist this is a bit ridiculous. SPIRES currently has 236 listed for me (I’m sure that list isn’t 100% accurate, but it is probably close).
I asked, but they told me I still had to get a print out of every single article. I had the brilliant idea that I could download all the PDF’s, put them together, and then print out one massive document. So much simpler than printing each one, one at a time. Most of the articles are PRL or PRD, so I logged into the web site and dutifully downloaded every single one. I was up late.
The next day I came in and realized I’d missed one very very old article. So I went back to the PRL site to grab it. The web returned with the message: “Sorry, web access from the University of Washington has been shut off due to illegal usage!” Hey! I managed to shut off access to the journal for all of the University of Washington! See what tenure can do!?
Fortunately, a few emails later it was rectified. But in a quick conversation with the journal web guy told me that I’d done more than 1000 times the normal data bandwidth usage from UW. If I downloaded 200 papers then that means less than one paper is downloaded a day. I’m not sure if that says everyone uses arXiv or something worse (it’s the former)…