How to Publish a Scientific Comment in 1 2 3 Easy Steps

Wow. I think I wanna cry.

Why do I KNOW the submissions pertained to GloBull Wormining?

Posted by Patvann at September 24, 2009 9:02 AM

That was my guess too, only now we have to say Climate Change.

Posted by Becky at September 25, 2009 6:20 AM

I don't think it was about climate.

Posted by ELC at September 25, 2009 4:47 PM

P.S. Just imagine if it HAD been a challenge to AGW. :)

Posted by ELC at September 25, 2009 4:48 PM

"The Worm-Runners' Digest" once had a piece on how to write a scientific article. It had such advice as never using a short word where a long one would do (never say "uneven," say "asymmetric") and how to turn short sentences into long ones by turning periods into commas.

Posted by Bleepless at September 26, 2009 11:20 AM

One of the biggest mechanisms by which the world of Science is corrupted by Government money is peer review. Peers are the people who have a vested interest in the current dogma. They always find ways to reject anything that does not agree with their preconceptions.

The Government began to "help" science, in the Ronald Reagan sense, when Sputnick went up. I remember it well, and then saw the physical consequences of it in the bloating of the literature after that event with small, mostly repititious articles. When preparing seminars it was a joy to read papers written before then, that were 50-60 pages long and described several years of careful, complete investigation, written with style and clarity. After that it was milk every small bit of new work for every possible paper--quantity not quality.

I fell into it as well for a time, as papers were the ticket to conferences, not the need to know the subject.

Posted by Bill at September 28, 2009 11:00 AM

Trebino's long and frustrating ordeal (trying to get a journal to publish his comment correcting an obvious error) raises some interesting points.

First (and obviously), it shows how the editors of "professional journals" can muzzle scientists critical of their position--in this case for more than a year. In fact, one wonders how often a less-tenacious person would simply give up after, say, Step 75.

Second, Trebino's experience shows that unscrupulous gatekeepers can consistently outmaneuver educated, well-intentioned, honest folks--because the latter play by the rules and expect fair play in return, while the former have no regard at all for such rules.

If the self-appointed gatekeepers don't like a critic's viewpoint, they will actively try to suppress any facts that would tend to undermine their own views. And they do so in a manner that is essentially undetectable by laymen--as in Trebino's year-long ordeal to try to correct an error in a published paper.

Third: His experience shows that as long as good people insist on "following the rules", they'll lose to the gatekeepers almost every time. Even in this case, though Trebino ultimately got his story out via the internet, he suffered for a year of not being able to counter what he viewed as the gross error published in the journal.

If science has been corrupted, a large share of the blame must go to journal editors.

Posted by sf at April 25, 2010 9:12 AM