In six days, 2014 commences and people across the globe will make resolutions to change their habits in areas concerning health, wealth, family, and work. I do not make such resolutions, but that minor detail will not stop me from providing some boilerplate resolutions for academics. Here are a few ideas to kick off the resolution-making New Year.*
- I will collect one data point per day.
- I will create one data point per day (perhaps per month if your data involves war onsets).
- I will make sure my "thank you" section includes more genuine choices than strategic choices.
- I will actually write a paper before I write the abstract and submit it to a conference.
- I will derive all of my hypotheses from theory.
- I will write my theory sections before I write my results sections.
- I will not gamble on the probability that a conference will extend its deadline for submissions.
- I will book my hotel/flight more than two days in advance.
- I will write more words of non-fiction than fiction.
- I will read and comprehend the formal theory articles I cite instead of just reading the titles.
- I will include more genuine citations than self-citations.
- I will read the papers before I grade them.
- I will know the topic before I lecture on it.
- I will wake up at least ten minutes prior to any lecture I must give.
- I will answer all student emails; even if it is the same question from the same student for the third time. My dog is no longer "eating my emails."
- I will wear at least two different ties during the semester.
- I will not include unsolvable riddles in my Power Point slides.
- During exams, I will not put Europe's "Final Countdown" on repeat over the speakers.
- I will make sure my students understand why proper international relations theory will allow them to achieve optimal victory conditions in Civilization V or Europa Universalis IV.
- I will return reviews prior to an "outstanding review" email from an editor. Failing that, I will return it before the third such email.
- I will not use a Two-Face style coin to determine whether or not to desk-reject each submitted manuscript to my journal.
- I will not attempt to filibuster committee decisions.
- I will blog on substantive topics and not just on popular culture items like movies and holidays.
*To be clear, this does not suggest that I engage in any of the behaviors the above resolutions seek to correct. That is, this list is meant purely for humor.