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Leo Klejn, an archaeologist, writes 25 maxims for academics. Most generalize quite well beyond archaeology.

Some examples that I found particularly pertinent:

  1. The scholarly world is not a team of friends. What is your discovery is a loss for someone else. And this someone is usually a prominent and powerful person. Therefore having made a discovery do not expect universal delight. Be ready for tough resistance, sudden attacks and a gruelling and lingering war. A scholar needs talent second and courage first.
  1. If an experiment fails once, the experiment is guilty, if it fails twice, the experimenter is guilty, if three times, the theory.
  1. Forget the phrase ‘for instance’. Examples can substantiate whatever you want. There is always a counter-example for every example. An example is permissible only when it represents a generalisation.
  1. Do not suppose anything is apparent. Collect proofs as much as possible, then people will perhaps understand that your idea did not need proving.
  1. The ‘golden middle’ between two extremes is only the third extreme. It must be proved especially well.

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