Join 3,554 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

How to Publish a Scientific Comment in 1 2 3 Easy Steps
January 11, 2013 5:26 PM   Subscribe

"The essence of science is reasoned debate. So, if you disagree with something reported in a scientific paper, you can write a "Comment" on it. In this article, I'll share with you my recent experience publishing a Comment, so you can too. There are just a few simple steps..." [PDF]
posted by Scientist (21 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Double. -- restless_nomad



 
I begin to see the editor's point. That would have been better at 1.00 pages. To be fair, I laughed 3.00 pages' worth. Please resubmit this at the proper length. It may help to omit all line numbers.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:40 PM on January 11, 2013


Okay, yes - it's a PDF that is really worth reading. Can we maybe talk about that?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:48 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was insane. But yeah, he should just throw it up on the web.
posted by k8t at 5:48 PM on January 11, 2013


Heh. In my little niche (you can dig through my comment history and probably figure it out) someone needs to explain to the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA that 10 x2 is not the same as (10x)2. I seriously thought about writing this up when I got layed off, then I thought about how much of a pain in the ass it would be and the likely impact (none at all).

Seeing this makes me feel like I've confirmed my hypothesis via library work.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:50 PM on January 11, 2013


It's a rant!
posted by Miko at 5:52 PM on January 11, 2013


If you're allergic to PDFs, the author has it on Scribd.
posted by zsazsa at 5:54 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I've been reading so many PDFs lately that I completely forgot that they actually still suck pretty bad and I just spaced the warning. I have contacted the mods.
posted by Scientist at 5:59 PM on January 11, 2013


[Added PDF warning, carry on. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 6:01 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


(I did try to find an HTML version before I made the post. Somehow I didn't notice the Scribd option.)
posted by Scientist at 6:02 PM on January 11, 2013


I really enjoyed that until he explained that it was a 'true' story. Then it all just sounded like sour grapes.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:13 PM on January 11, 2013


Honestly, I just thought it was wierd that they published it as a PDF instead of on a blog somewhere.
posted by pwnguin at 6:15 PM on January 11, 2013


Then it all just sounded like sour grapes.

I think each of those grapes was richly earned.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:15 PM on January 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why not just write a response article? Seems as that would be easier. The strict page limits on high impact journals aren't much more than three pages when including equations and a couple of figures.
posted by bonehead at 6:17 PM on January 11, 2013


Why not just write a response article? Seems as that would be easier. The strict page limits on high impact journals aren't much more than three pages when including equations and a couple of figures.

Far fewer people would read a response article published in another journal. If this guy's work was in fact erroneously debunked, saving his reputation by publishing the comment in the original journal was definitely the way to go.

That said, I feel bad for him.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 6:27 PM on January 11, 2013


Look, the technical comment track is supposed to be an accessible avenue for correction of errors in the scientific literature. It is well worth pointing out that this avenue is deeply flawed and, in some places, may even be corrupt.

The one time I was tempted to write a technical comment on a (horrible) paper, I wrote the editor who informed me that his journal did not publish such comments. I guess that solved that problem.
posted by grouse at 6:28 PM on January 11, 2013


Far fewer people would read a response article published in another journal.

Perhaps, though comments don't show up in abstract indices or citation searches either. I've done response papers that worked quite well. Going to conferences to advertise your paper is important too.
posted by bonehead at 6:44 PM on January 11, 2013


Double.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:05 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah damn, and it used the scribd link too which is why I didn't find it. Well, that about wraps this up then.
posted by Scientist at 7:10 PM on January 11, 2013


I've discussed this saga so many times that I totally forgot one of the previous times was here on MetaFilter! The previous discussion is well worth reading.
posted by grouse at 7:12 PM on January 11, 2013


It's not my neck on the line, but at some point it feels like someone should name names.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:21 PM on January 11, 2013


Well, since we're still live, somebody in the old thread linked this excellent commentary on the "1 2 3 Steps" document which lays out why this kind of obstructionism and bureaucratic obtuseness is really poisonous to the scientific enterprise and the quest for knowledge in general. It was a good link in that thread, and is worth reading if you don't understand why the author of the Comment is so righteously furious. It's more than just a desire to defend his own work.
posted by Scientist at 7:22 PM on January 11, 2013


« Older When 17th-century Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh...  |  "It's amazing what can be done... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments