How to Publish a Scientific Comment in 123 Easy Steps

31 August 2009 at 5:19 pm 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

This is floating around the web and good for a chuckle. The situation in social science is in some ways better and in other ways worse than that described here (the author claims it’s based on a true story). Our journals are not quite as space constrained, on average, but our publication lags are typically much longer.

Be sure to read all the way through to the Addenda, in which the author makes interesting and important suggestions for revising the system. (HT: Randy.)

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gabrielrossman  |  31 August 2009 at 6:25 pm

    It’s funny how so many of the problems were brought on by the hard science standard of extreme brevity. I’m not a fan of sociology or law journal bloat, but on the other hand hard science journals go way too far in the other direction. they would be a lot easier to read if they allowed the authors more than a thousand words. i remember i didn’t really understand basic aspects of the methods for Salganik, Dodds, and Watts until i saw Salganik present the paper, which is funny because the methods were actually pretty simple (which I mean as a complement).

  • 2. srp  |  1 September 2009 at 12:59 am

    I think it was Jared Diamond who complained about the ultra-dense writing in Science magazine. He pointed out that they had eliminated all the parts of speech except nouns, prepositions, and articles–the adjectives were nouns, the verbs were nouns, etc., e.g. A DNA Methylation System with Fluorescence Detection (for the literal-minded, I just made that up out of a string of terms and I know it’s nonsense).

  • 3. JonMote  |  1 September 2009 at 9:35 am

    I had a comparatively easy time writing a comment to the Journal of Economic Perspectives years back. The only bad thing that happened was the author of the original piece asked that a sentence be removed or, to paraphrase his original response, he would come after me and burn me to the ground. Even the editor seemed a little taken aback.

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