Leo Klejn, an archaeologist, writes 25 maxims for academics. Most generalize quite well beyond archaeology.
Some examples that I found particularly pertinent:
- 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.
- If an experiment fails once, the experiment is guilty, if it fails twice, the experimenter is guilty, if three times, the theory.
- 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.
- Do not suppose anything is apparent. Collect proofs as much as possible, then people will perhaps understand that your idea did not need proving.
- The ‘golden middle’ between two extremes is only the third extreme. It must be proved especially well.