4 days ago
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Ha! Ha, ha ha!
Poking around the website dedicated to that science which "makes us laugh, then makes us think" for the 2008 Ig Nobels, I came across this little gem (a pdf is available on arxiv - see below). Beautiful. Just beautiful.
I find it rather painfully amusing, only because it is true. There is a push in journals of "high renown" for papers to have lots of references, to show the importance of your work (though this is obviously a skewed metric). This forces authors to "copy and paste" reference lists (PhD theses are particularly bad), leading to the conclusion that only 20% of authors actually read the article they're citing.
It makes one want to go back to that website that randomly generates computer science papers. That was fun.
On a similar note, the Physics Nobel prize for 2008 has been awarded for the prediction of symmetry breaking at the subatomic level. Congratulations... although, why on earth would one give a Nobel prize to only the K and M of CKM?
M.V. Simkin, V.P. Roychowdhury (2003). Read before you cite! Complex Syst., 14, 269-274 DOI: arXiv:cond-mat/0212043v1