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Thread: Just horrible

  1. #1
    Senior Member lunasicc42's Avatar
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    Just horrible

    I know most of us are pretty antsy or jumpy or even angry about wise getting his work published, this is what he is dealing with:


    https://www.nature.com/news/does-it-...search-1.19320
    "That's not smog! It's SMUG!! " - randy marsh, southpark

    "what???? , you don't 'all' wear a poop sac?.... DAMNIT BONNIE, YOU LIED TO ME ABOUT THE POOP SAC!!!! "


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  2. #2
    luna,

    As a scientist, I can tell you this is a problem we have all encountered. I got the run around from Nature for months before I moved to PNAS. Just a couple of years ago, I submitted a manuscript for the journal Development. After it sitting with the reviewers for a few weeks, I got back a rejection based on the criticisms of a person in another camp (yes, science has factions), who was opposed to the very theory I was testing. He essentially trashed my paper as being based on a false premise before even considering the data. Yes, the editor took his recommendation and rejected it. I had to start all over again with another journal. I submitted to another respected journal and was accepted in 12 hours (highly unusual to be that quick).

    The point is that journals have impact factors and want to keep those as high as possible to maintain their star status. So they don't always want to publish the best research so much as the stuff that will get the most notice. On top of that, reviewers project their biases onto whatever they read. Then, you have the fact that all journals use reviews from people in the scientific field who are asked to volunteer for free. So, sometimes it's hard to get them to prioritize getting the reviews back in a timely fashion when they have their own work to do. Also, almost all manuscripts come back with requests to change the paper and add more data. I've had reviewers get all excited and request more experiments be done that would end up constituting an additional paper. The phrase, "beyond the scope of the current study" is commonly used to rebut these requests. All in all, it can take more than a year sometimes to get stuff published in a high impact journal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lunasicc42's Avatar
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    honestly reminds me a little bit of the "in-crowd" or a popularity contest
    "That's not smog! It's SMUG!! " - randy marsh, southpark

    "what???? , you don't 'all' wear a poop sac?.... DAMNIT BONNIE, YOU LIED TO ME ABOUT THE POOP SAC!!!! "


    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature

  4. #4
    Before the internet, I could see how impact factor would be something that actually matters. Not everyone had access to every article from every journal, and one needed some metric of knowing whether a study was high-quality or not, and impact factor served that purpose. Today, all you have to do is search for a topic/article, and you can read it - provided one has a subscription or it's public access.

    The impact factor of the journal a study is published in doesn't affect the words on the page - the methods are the methods and the results are the results. I've been in journal club meetings at the university where I'm pursuing my PhD where we all dissect articles, often from high impact papers. Honestly, about 1/3 of the time, we're in awe of everything about the paper; 1/3 of the time, we recognize the faults of the paper but still take away some things we've learned; and 1/3 of the time, it's a blood bath where we eviscerate the paper and conclude that we learn very little from it because there are too many big flaws. The impact factor of the journal the article came from has pretty much nothing to do with which one of the three aforementioned categories the article ultimately falls in to.

    Impact factor of journals is an arcane system that, as people more experienced then me have already pointed out, is one of the reasons science moves at a glacial pace, which ultimately hurts the pace at which new discoveries turn into useful treatments for the population that needs them - SCI being a perfect example. Biomedical research, and medicine in general, would be able to serve people a lot better if impact factors were done away with - note I'm specific to impact factor only, as I think formal peer review still has its place. But biomedical research as an industry hinges on impact factor of journals in so many ways that I don't see it going away any time soon.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by lunasicc42 View Post
    honestly reminds me a little bit of the "in-crowd" or a popularity contest
    You're not wrong.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsonite View Post
    Before the internet...
    There is another problem with impact factor. It's supposed to be a way to measure how many people see an article, simply put in concept, how many views per article a journal has. However, some journals increase the denominator and thereby lower the factor just by publishing more articles. The Journal of Biological Chemistry is a great example that comes to mind. I would happily make a career of publishing in JBC a couple times a year for the rest of my career. It is a first rate pub, but it's impact factor will never approach that of Nature, or Cell because (among other reasons) it publishes a much larger number of articles per issue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Moe's Avatar
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    So sad, nothing left to do about it than go hide back in the 'safe space' alone playing with play-dough drink hot cocoa n cry about it... keep donating money to foundations that will take care of it driving Ferraris...
    Last edited by Moe; 08-22-2018 at 10:12 PM.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cutterjohn View Post
    There is another problem with impact factor. It's supposed to be a way to measure how many people see an article, simply put in concept, how many views per article a journal has. However, some journals increase the denominator and thereby lower the factor just by publishing more articles. The Journal of Biological Chemistry is a great example that comes to mind. I would happily make a career of publishing in JBC a couple times a year for the rest of my career. It is a first rate pub, but it's impact factor will never approach that of Nature, or Cell because (among other reasons) it publishes a much larger number of articles per issue.
    I've thought along similar lines. I'd gladly just blog about my studies and let the world judge if it wasn't career suicide.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutterjohn View Post
    You're not wrong.

    To what extent do you believe non-scientific bias influences/contaminates the publication process? E.g. Financial influences (review scientist X wants to keep getting grants for theory Y, so they poo-poo on a competing theory's potential publication; or influences related to having staked, or gained, a significant reputation for theory Y that they safeguard via biases in the review process) Perhaps overtly or maybe unconsciously so. Being a lay-person I've wondered the extent to which certain aspect of "human nature" geared toward 'self-preservation' are competing with the purported 'objective process' of inquiry espoused in the scientific method, when it comes to supporting other people's work. Common? Uncommon? Big problem? Little problem? No problem?
    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    To what extent do you believe non-scientific bias influences/contaminates the publication process? E.g. Financial influences (review scientist X wants to keep getting grants for theory Y, so they poo-poo on a competing theory's potential publication; or influences related to having staked, or gained, a significant reputation for theory Y that they safeguard via biases in the review process) Perhaps overtly or maybe unconsciously so. Being a lay-person I've wondered the extent to which certain aspect of "human nature" geared toward 'self-preservation' are competing with the purported 'objective process' of inquiry espoused in the scientific method, when it comes to supporting other people's work. Common? Uncommon? Big problem? Little problem? No problem?
    This is a good question with a complex answer. The short answer is all the time. The slightly longer answer is that it depends on the person reviewing the manuscript or grant application. There is definite assassination of competing theories going on, but usually not for financial gain. Usually it's the usual human motivation of shouting down the ideas one thinks are wrong because one is sure one is right. There is also reputation bias. Investigators who are big in a field have a leg up for funding over those who are young and new. My mother even had to deal with blatant chauvinism in her day. These are big problems, but there are also mechanisms to mitigate them. For instance, when you submit an article or a grant, you can recommend reviewers who you believe are most qualified to judge your work, and you can specifically exclude those who you think will be biased against you or have conflict of interest. There are also appeal mechanisms. For journal submissions, you can also just go to another journal. In the end, I still believe good science will get out, but it may take way more effort than it should and get less recognition than it should in some cases.

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