▲ Kim Hyun-Woong, Graduate School of Psychology. Provided by Korea University.
For those who are avid followers of KU Story, Kim Hyun-Woong’s (Graduate School of Psychology) feat of publishing an academic paper to Current Biology, a renowned science journal is no stranger. His achievement is indeed noteworthy, as having one’s first research paper be accepted into a journal on the upper sixth percentile of academia is no small deed. As testament, Yonhap News and other media featured the story as well. However, one thing was missing from most of them—the story of the man himself.
GT How did you feel when you first realized your paper was going to be published on Current Biology?
Kim “Well, the process is quite gradual, so I already had an idea whether the paper would make it or not. When it passed the first major revision, I had a good idea of whether or not it would be published. When I did find out the paper passed the first major revision, I was more surprised than ecstatic. On the day it was finally published, I was relieved that the countless revisions could finally end.
GT While speaking with your co-author Professor Kim Chai-Youn,she said that the research trip you went on was the first time you’ve been overseas. What were some hardships you encountered?
Kim “The hardest part was the food. I initially thought, with the trip at most being four or five months, I would be back before I knew it. Communicating with others was frustrating too, because I wasn’t as free with my conversations [as with Korean]. Thankfully, Professor Randolph Blake (Vanderbilt University) had prior experience in working with foreign students. He was very mindful of the way he communicated, and that was a lot of help.”
GT When you do go on another research trip overseas, what would you do differently then, compared to your last time abroad?
Kim “I would bring a rice cooker. With that at least I can cook rice while I’m abroad and have some familiar food once a while. Other than that, I don’t think I’d change much. I was very comfortable [at Vanderbilt]—all the time I had I could use for research, and the environment was perfect for that too.”
GT Would you like to say some final remarks for the interview?
Kim Yes. In all honesty, I was very lucky. I kept at it, and the rest was up to fate. I met amazing professors, had great test results, and had the fortune of having the paper accepted to Current Biology. If I had not had the help of Professor Kim Chai-Youn—who supported and assisted me through so much—it would not have been possible.