Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper: it’s “annoying” that it’s already on a preprint server

Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper: it’s “annoying” that it’s already on a preprint server Posted by Andrew on 15 January 2018, 9:55 am Alex Gamma writes: I’m interested in publishing in journal X. So I inquire about X’s preprint policy. X’s editor informs me that [Journal X] does not prohibit placing submitted manuscripts on preprint servers. Some reviewers may notice the server version of the article, however, and they may find the lack of anonymity so annoying that it affects their recommendations about the paper. This is interesting in part because it highlights the different roles of scientific journals. Traditionally, a journal is a way to “publish” a paper, that is, to print the article so that other people can read it. In this case, it’s already on the preprint server, so the main…
Original Post: Hey, here’s a new reason for a journal to reject a paper: it’s “annoying” that it’s already on a preprint server

The puzzle: Why do scientists typically respond to legitimate scientific criticism in an angry, defensive, closed, non-scientific way? The answer: We’re trained to do this during the process of responding to peer review.

[image of Cantor’s corner] Here’s the “puzzle,” as we say in social science. Scientific research is all about discovery of the unexpected: to do research, you need to be open to new possibilities, to design experiments to force anomalies, and to learn from them. The sweet spot for any researcher is at Cantor’s corner. (See here for further explanation of the Cantor connection.) Buuuut . . . researchers are also notorious for being stubborn. In particular, here’s a pattern we see a lot:– Research team publishes surprising result A based on some “p less than .05” empirical results.– This publication gets positive attention and the researchers and others in their subfield follow up with open-ended “conceptual replications”: related studies that also attain the “p less than .05” threshold.– Given the surprising nature of result A, it’s unsurprising that other researchers…
Original Post: The puzzle: Why do scientists typically respond to legitimate scientific criticism in an angry, defensive, closed, non-scientific way? The answer: We’re trained to do this during the process of responding to peer review.

The retraction paradox: Once you retract, you implicitly have to defend all the many things you haven’t yet retracted

Mark Palko points to this news article by Beth Skwarecki on Goop, “the Gwyneth Paltrow pseudoscience empire.” Here’s Skwarecki: When Goop publishes something weird or, worse, harmful, I often find myself wondering what are they thinking? Recently, on Jimmy Kimmel, Gwyneth laughed at some of the newsletter’s weirder recommendations and said “I don’t know what the fuck we talk about.” . . . I [Skwarecki] . . . end up speaking with editorial director Nandita Khanna. “You publish a lot of things that are outside of the mainstream. What are your criteria for determining that something is safe and ethical to recommend?” Khanna starts by pointing out that they include a disclaimer at the bottom of health articles. This is true. It reads: The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the…
Original Post: The retraction paradox: Once you retract, you implicitly have to defend all the many things you haven’t yet retracted

Intelligence has always been artificial or at least artefactual.

I (Keith O’Rourke) thought I would revisit a post of Andrew’s on artificial intelligence (AI) and statistics. The main point seemed to be that “AI can be improved using long-established statistical principles. Or, to put it another way, that long-established statistical principles can be made more useful through AI techniques.” The point(s) I will try to make here are that AI, like statistics, can be (and has been) improved by focusing on representations themselves. That is focusing on what makes them good in a purposeful sense and how we and machines (perhaps only jointly) can build more purposeful ones. To start, I’ll suggest the authors of the paper Andrew reviewed might wish to consider Robert Kass’ arguments that it is time to move past the standard conception of sampling from a population to one more focused on the hypothetical link between variation…
Original Post: Intelligence has always been artificial or at least artefactual.

The failure of null hypothesis significance testing when studying incremental changes, and what to do about it

A few months ago I wrote a post, “Cage match: Null-hypothesis-significance-testing meets incrementalism. Nobody comes out alive.” I soon after turned it into an article, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, with the title given above and the following abstract: A standard mode of inference in social and behavioral science is to establish stylized facts using statistical significance in quantitative studies. However, in a world in which measure- ments are noisy and effects are small, this will not work: selection on statistical significance leads to effect sizes which are overestimated and often in the wrong direction. After a brief discussion of two examples, one in economics and one in social psychology, we consider the procedural solution of open post-publication review, the design solution of devoting more effort to accurate measurements and within-person comparisons, and the statistical analysis solution of…
Original Post: The failure of null hypothesis significance testing when studying incremental changes, and what to do about it

UNDER EMBARGO: the world’s most unexciting research finding

UNDER EMBARGO: the world’s most unexciting research finding Posted by Andrew on 22 December 2017, 9:31 am Kevin Lewis writes: Since it’s so surprising: From: Society for Personality and Social PsychologySent: Friday, September 23, 2016 12:01 PMSubject: Embargoed: Want to be popular? Work on your emotional intelligence UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 at 7:30 AM EDT Media Contact:Annie Drinkard, Public and Media Relations ManagerSociety for Personality and Social Psychologypress@spsp.org(202) 524-6543 Want to be popular? Work on your emotional intelligence Ha! It reminds me of this one:“Participants reported being hungrier when they walked into the café (mean = 7.38, SD = 2.20) than when they walked out [mean = 1.53, SD = 2.70, F(1, 75) = 107.68, P < 0.001].” Good thing they had an EMBARGO on “Want to be popular? Work on your emotional intelligence.” Wouldn’t want that secret leaking…
Original Post: UNDER EMBARGO: the world’s most unexciting research finding

Working Class Postdoc

Working Class Postdoc Posted by Andrew on 20 December 2017, 9:23 am As soon as you’re born they make you feel smallBy giving you no time instead of it allTill the pain is so big you feel nothing at allA working class hero is something to beA working class hero is something to be They hurt you at home and they hit you at schoolThey hate you if you’re clever and they despise a foolTill you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rulesA working class hero is something to beA working class hero is something to be When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd yearsThen they expect you to pick a careerWhen you can’t really function you’re so full of fearA working class hero is something to beA working class hero is something to be Keep you doped with…
Original Post: Working Class Postdoc

Stranger than fiction

Someone pointed me to a long discussion, which he preferred not to share publicly, of his perspective on a scientific controversy in his field of research. He characterized a particular claim as “impossible to be true, i.e., false, and therefore, by definition, fiction.” But my impression of a lot of research misconduct is that the researchers in question believe they are acting in the service of a larger truth, and when they misrepresent data or exaggerate conclusions, that they feel they’re just anticipating the findings that they already know are correct. This is inappropriate from a scientific perspective but it doesn’t quite feel like lying either. Again, having not read any of the details I am not saying that any aspects of this apply to this person’s particular story, I’m just speaking in general. It would be fair to characterize…
Original Post: Stranger than fiction

Is it possible to paint an overly bleak picture of university based clinical research?

Is it possible to paint an overly bleak picture of university based clinical research? Recently I was reminiscing with an old colleague about  how our publications from almost 30 years ago that tried to encourage better conduct and reporting of clinical research seemed to have had so little impact. This one for instance. Recently, they suggested there is some reason to hope for better, pointing to a website reporting on failures to enable open science by failure to share trial results.  If reason has little impact maybe some wider public awareness might work? So I checked the data on the list from the link they gave for some of the universities I was associated with in the past – [edit – sorted by percent missing] they were at the 11th, 32nd, 49th and 72nd percentile (higher being better). I was hoping…
Original Post: Is it possible to paint an overly bleak picture of university based clinical research?

“A mixed economy is not an economic abomination or even a regrettably unavoidable political necessity but a natural absorbing state,” and other notes on “Whither Science?” by Danko Antolovic

So. I got this email one day, promoting a book that came with the following blurb: Whither Science?, by Danko Antolovic, is a series of essays that explore some of the questions facing modern science. A short read at only 41 pages, Whither Science? looks into the fundamental questions about the purposes, practices and future of science. As a global endeavor, which influences all of contemporary life, science is still a human creation with historical origins and intellectual foundations. And like all things human, it has its faults, which must be accounted for. It sounded like this guy might be a crank, but they sent me a free copy so I took a look. I read the book, and I liked it. It’s written in an unusual style, kinda like what you might expect from someone with a physics/chemistry background…
Original Post: “A mixed economy is not an economic abomination or even a regrettably unavoidable political necessity but a natural absorbing state,” and other notes on “Whither Science?” by Danko Antolovic