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Academic taboos: The things researchers cannot say

In the first of a new series on academic taboos, independent researcher Helen Kara explores the thoughts that even successful academics must keep to themselves.

Academia is a community with conventions, customs, and no-go areas. They may vary, to some extent, between disciplines, but they definitely exist.

In most science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, for example, it is taboo for research authors to refer to themselves, in writing, in the first person. This leads to some astonishing linguistic contortions.

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