November 12, 2014

"(should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?)"

Embarrassing artifact of crappy editing.

16 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Same kind of stuff we heard in Climategate about Mann's "Hockey Stick"

CStanley said...

The peer review process needs to be opaque. Lack of transparency is a huge scientific advantage.

rhhardin said...

Always cite others.

Quaestor said...

So this is about a cage match between Lisa Douglas and some hyperventilating chocolatier over fish sex? Is that what I'm asked to contemplate in the gloaming?

tim maguire said...

As an editor, my first reaction was to cringe. Holy Crap! Thank god it wasn't me! But it could have been.

No matter how many "layers of editors and fact checkers" a publication has, the process is chaotic, with many cooks stirring the soup.

Sometimes changes I make don't get incorporated, sometimes there's a version control failure and an earlier draft gets substituted for a later draft, sometimes people make changes and don't tell me--I'm not going to reread a novel every time somebody tinkers with a sentence.

There are many ways a problem can creep in and it isn't economically feasible to control for every possible source of error.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Per review is just so much bullshit. At least in the way it is viewed by most people.

I wish I had a nickle for every time I've heard "But it is peer reviewed. How can you say it is not true? Could those peer reviewers be wrong?"

This is especially evident in the global whatever debate.

First, many, perhaps most(?) scientific journals charge the authors for publication. Here is a list from Sage with 5-600 journals and their fee schedules from $1500 to $5000.

http://www.uk.sagepub.com/repository/binaries/pdf/SAGE-Choice-Participating-Title-List.pdf

Other publishers have similar fee lists.

So how unbiased is a publication that charges money to publish? I suspect that they won't publish complete bilge but a paper that is not quite there? When they need to meet payroll?

For more on this see this article:

http://www.nature.com/news/open-access-the-true-cost-of-science-publishing-1.12676

Here are some more prices http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/apccomparison/

Then you have cases like that of Jan Schon who published hundreds of peer reviewed papers in an amazingly short time. Sometimes 2 a week. The flagship journal Science, had to withdraw 7 of his papers.

He was so bad that the University of Konstanz in Germany rescinded his PhD for dishonorable conduct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6n_scandal

Not peer reviewed but did, presumably pass editorial muster was Alan Sokal's famous paper where he took a bunch of social science buzzwords, dropped them into a paper and got them published as a scholarly article in Duke University's Post-Modernist journal "Social text"

Put not your trust in peer review.

Full Disclosure: I have published several peer reviewed journal articles as well as 40-50 other non-peer reviewed articles in technical/trade magazines.

My non-journal editors have always been much more questioning than my peer reviewers.

John Henry

Fritz said...

tim maguire said...
As an editor, my first reaction was to cringe. Holy Crap! Thank god it wasn't me! But it could have been.


Amen, brother.

traditionalguy said...

Most peer review for a science is like signing each others year books. If you do mine with nice words, then I will do yours the same.

MadisonMan said...

As an editor, my first reaction was to cringe. Holy Crap! Thank god it wasn't me! But it could have been.

Same. When you co-author something and the other authors are not in your building, it's hard to resist the temptation to send along a message in the text of the article. I'll try not to be snarky about it in the future.

Peter said...

And the point is, even peer reviewers seldom read all the way through academic papers?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The entire first sentence ("Although ... predictions.") is an editing failure.

It should be split into two or more sentences.

Take nearly any random newspaper article and read each sentence aloud in one breath.

EDH said...

Aren't brackets supposed to be used instead of parentheses in situations like this (e.g., editorial notes) to distinguish it from a parenthetical in the original text?

MadisonMan said...

even peer reviewers seldom read all the way through academic papers

Maybe, maybe not.

I would be curious to see the Peer Reviews of the paper, and especially if they noted the parenthetical changes.

But the note about the crappy paper could have been inserted in revisions. The reviewer may or may not have wanted to see revisions, depending on their extent.

Original Mike said...

"even peer reviewers seldom read all the way through academic papers"

I guess I'm a sucker. I always put a LOT of effort into my reviews. I know for a fact me immediate colleagues did the same.

Original Mike said...

me = my

EMD said...

C'mon guys, let's be honest. The Gabor paper is crappy.

Zsa Zsa didn't know shit about the subject.