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On “impostor syndrome” and “FOBMO” (Fear Of Being Missed Out) – the “Publish A LOT” strategy

Even though English is my first language (contrary to what many people may think because of my name and last names) and I was trained in English-language institutions (The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and University of Manchester, in Manchester, England), I have published A TON of Spanish-language journal articles and book chapters. Despite my interest in dialoguing with the global scholarly literature, I always felt that I would be at some point working in Mexico and that I needed to publish in Spanish in order to talk to my target audience.

My publications folder


I thought I’d get A TON of citations by publishing in Spanish. I didn’t. I haven’t. Despite the massive volume of Spanish-language publications I have, I am not as cited in this language as I am in English.


For a while there, I didn’t have (in my view) enough publications in this language to show the complexities, nuanced shades, importance and relevance of my work. I felt an enormous sense of FOBMO (Fear Of Being Missed Out). Perhaps it was insecurity, perhaps it was FOBMO, I can’t quite pinpoint how I felt. I tried to articulate my feelings on this Twitter thread.

Again, I used this Twitter thread to reflect on my publication strategy. I can’t say if it is good or bad, but I think that there is value in not letting your own insecurities be an obstacle to your intellectual development. Perhaps I could have used a different publication strategy, I don’t know. But I do know that I sometimes have felt FOBMO. Despite the fact that I have a pretty decent publication record.

google scholar rpv

I strongly believe that losing my FOBMO is partly because I now have a much larger, stronger and robust publication record that shows my intellectual development. Again, this entry is NOT a “this is a strategy I recommend” suggestion but more like a “I wouldn’t recommend this strategy” blog post.

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Posted in academia.

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