Saturday, September 20, 2014

News Feed Comments

Scientific integrity matters! Fabricated peer reviewers lead to 60 retractions.

Thanks to The Week‘s report, I was alerted to the 60 retracted articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control. The explanation and list of retracted papers is here. More saucy details can be found here. Kudos to the Editor-in-Chief Ali H. Nayfeh and SAGE for carrying out the investigation and retracting the papers. This […]

How to give feedback to colleagues and students on their writing

One of the perpetual difficulties with providing feedback to others is the tendency to coat the paper in red ink, leaving the author having to plow through all the comments. While not inherently bad in itself (I’m guilty as charged!), it can leave the author thinking that the 30 errors in punctuation exceed the one […]

Advice on providing better feedback…

Our advisors coated the drafts of our writing in red ink. And, we, in turn, coat the drafts of our students’ writing in red ink. Does the volume of red ink challenge students to improve their writing, or do they just shrug it off (for any number of reasons)? I was just reading an article […]

Want quick publicity? Send out a press release on your unpublished manuscript!

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Publishing

As this article from slate.com describes, yet again someone has received a lot of media attention for their unpublished research. This time the study was on the eventual decline of Facebook. The slate article does a fine job of undermining the premises of the paper and showing them not to be valid (particularly the one […]

Sell no manuscript before its time

January 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing

This classic TV advertisement from the late 1970s features Orson Welles proclaiming that Paul Masson winery will not sell its wine until it is ready. Unfortunately, many authors “sell” their manuscript to journals before they are ready to enter peer review. The manuscripts are often sloppy, lacking careful proofreading. References are not in the proper […]

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

This Comment in Nature today by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman is meant as a primer for policy makers who need to interpret science, but I would argue that this primer is also useful for scientists who might fall into this trap of overinterpreting or misinterpreting results in their own or others’ studies. […]

Fictitious paper published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

September 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing

Jon Zeitler forwarded me this story about a published article that was withdrawn from publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications when it was discovered that the authors were fictitious. The work was apparently submitted to discredit another scientist’s work.

How to read and understand a scientific paper

August 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing, Writing

Brian Curran sends along this great blog post about how to read and understand a scientific paper. The subtitle is a guide for nonscientists, but Brian points out that even scientists could benefit from this information. In fact, I would say that many of the questions asked by the author are valuable in constructing a […]

Should peer reviewers be suggested by authors?

A recent editorial by Mounir Fawzi in Middle East Current Psychiatry asks the above question. The paper concludes: Traditionally, peer reviewers are designated by the editor. However, a recent trend, which is followed by the MECPsych, is to give authors an opportunity to suggest reviewers for their manuscripts. A few studies have compared author-suggested reviewers […]

The Golden Rule of Reviewing, applied to grant proposals

June 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing

A colleague of mine wrote me a while back, I liked your blog entry on the golden rule of reviewing, but I wanted to see if you have thoughts (or know of similar research) regarding the review process for proposals to agencies. It comes to mind because I served on my first [funding agency] panel […]

Next Page »