No one reads your paper either — The Serial Mentor (But why you should publish anyway)


Peer Review Monster
Peer Review Monster (Photo credit: Gideon Burton)

 No one reads your paper either — The Serial Mentor.

Claus Wilke is Professor of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin. He writes:

Simon Goring wrote an interesting post a few days ago arguing that no one reads your blog. In his post, he discussed reasons for why you might want to blog anyway. This post prompted me to tackle a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while: Why should you do science? Why should you publish? No one is going to read your paper either.

Starts out depressing, but turns in a nice way after a few ‘graphs; also makes the important existential remark too that ‘Publishing clears the mind.’ (I suspect blogging might too).

Also articulates the occasional despondency I feel after we’ve published our latest paper… who will read it?

Well, to begin with… the nice editors at the journal; the two or three or four *nice* referees who have read it and produced corrections, recommendations, excisions, emendations and additions of such length and quality that sometimes they are nearly the same length as the paper (there’s lots of whining out there about peer review being broken. I’m not so certain. Our papers get thoroughly read and vetted, and mistakes are winnowed out, and reviewers have been serious and constructive. Surely the key issue is that the journal editors have the job of ensuring that reviews are appropriately serious and constructive?).

Afterwards, the community might read it – maybe not straight away, but hopefully in time…

[H/T: Mike the Mad Biologist]

Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Writer

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