We all know that research produces more questions than answers. You can quickly get overwhelmed with those questions and lose the focus necessary to finish work on one of those questions.
The best advice I got as a newish PhD student (some time ago), was to make a file for all the things I would write after the dissertation was finished. (HT Leonore Davidoff)
This post by Liz Gloyn takes that advice in interesting directions.
The phrase [academic otters] originated early during my PhD, when I wanted a name for all the research ideas that were bouncing up and around my brain but I didn’t have time to pay attention to. Thankfully, another community of writers, those in the fan fiction world, are familiar with the problem – they call those little persistent thoughts that nibble away at your brain until you write them plot bunnies. Fan fic writers have tried to corral plot bunnies in various ways, such as putting them on websites for other writers to adopt, or keeping a record of them in a dedicated document until they have time to get to them. What I clearly needed was a similar strategy to care for my academic otters.
Read the full post: The proper care and feeding of academic otters « Classically Inclined.
What do you do with your academic otters?
This post was edited July 13, 2015.