Category Archives: Publishing

An Issue Equal to Scientific Fraud: Bad Editing and Reviewing

The Mad Biologist, of course, is never a bad reviewer… Every so often, there’s a spate of articles about scientific fraud (here’s a recent entry). I don’t mean to downplay the issue–it is serious. In my daily work though, I … Continue reading

Posted in Publishing | 3 Comments

Once Again, Papers Are Professional Currency

At least in biology. And nothing will change until funders decide things should change. Mathematician Timothy Gowers writes about peer review (boldface mine): Defences of formal peer review tend to focus on three functions it serves. The first is that … Continue reading

Posted in Publishing | 3 Comments

Incentives And Closed Data

So NEJM, which is not aware of all data sharing traditions, published a very silly opinion piece/proposal about sharing of data from clinical trials. While the entire article appears to have fallen out of the stupid tree and hit every … Continue reading

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Publisher Concerns Over Priority Should Never Trump Learning More About Rape

Does posting on PubPeer count as prior publication? Journal says yes, rejects letter rebutting campus sexual assault data Consider this a case study in when publishers’ prerogatives run roughshod over the needs of scientists–and society as a whole (boldface mine): … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Ethics, Publishing, Rape | Comments Off on Publisher Concerns Over Priority Should Never Trump Learning More About Rape

Biology Papers Are Currency

I recently came across this putzish Ars Technica story about preprints in biology, and it demostrates how little many supposedly knowledgeable people understand the professional incentives of biologists, best demonstrated by this section (boldface mine): This move has been met … Continue reading

Posted in Funding, Publishing | 1 Comment

Ecce Homo: When Publishers Force Scientists to Fit Cost-Driven Models–And Fail

By now, you’ve probably heard about the incredible discovery of a new hominin (genus Homo)–unless you’ve been living in a cave (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?). There are lots of angles various articles and blog posts have taken, but Buzzfeed’s … Continue reading

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I Still Do Not Understand The Economics of ‘Free’ Internet Ads

A couple of years ago, I wondered if the rise of ad blockers and tools that nuke various internet trackers would undermine the ad-based internet model: But while this [ad blocking] brings the Mad Biologist joy, it’s an economic disaster. … Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Publishing | Comments Off on I Still Do Not Understand The Economics of ‘Free’ Internet Ads

The Mandatory Sentence in the LaCour Coverage That Matters

So the science Twitterz and bloggysphere is being roiled by the LaCour scandal, which involves a whole lot of scientific fraud along with ridiculously shoddy oversight. But what I keep reading in every story–and then which is dropped like a … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Funding, Publishing | 1 Comment

How Does One Even Make an URL Like This?

I receive emails with journal tables of contents, including Emerging Infectious Disease. Here’s the url of an article provided in the article: It resolves to this: Not clear to me why the first version is needed, or how … Continue reading

Posted in Computers, Internet, Publishing | 6 Comments

Why Open Access Matters

It turns out that Ebola, rather than being something never experienced before in Liberia, seems to have caused infections there previously (boldface mine): The conventional wisdom is wrong. We were stunned recently when we stumbled across an article by European … Continue reading

Posted in Public Health, Publishing, Viruses | Comments Off on Why Open Access Matters