Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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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 Send out a press release on your unpublished manuscript!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As this article from describes, yet again someone has received a lot of media attention for their unpublished research.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Jon Zeitler forwarded me this story about a published article that was withdrawn from publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications when it was discovered that the authors were fictitious.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 […]

A note on good research practice: Dooley (2013)

An editorial in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control is entitled “A note on good research practice.” Dooley states: By far the most common issue we editors of this journal are seeing in terms of poor scientific practice in submissions is the failure to appropriately cite the work of others. Sadly, we see numerous […]

Why study duck penises?

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

If you ever needed an eloquent argument for funding basic science, please read this excellent editorial by Patricia Brennan. A particular highlight: Investment in the NSF [National Science Foundation, the U.S. government agency that funds scientific research] is just over $20 per year per person, while it takes upward of $2,000 per year per person […]

The Golden Rule of Reviewing

March 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing

The Golden Rule If you submit N papers per year, you should perform 2N to 3N per year. It is only the right thing to do. If you impose a submission onto the peer-reviewing system, then you owe it to the system to perform two or three reviews to make up for it. The peer-reviewing […]

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