Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ha! Ha, ha ha!

ResearchBlogging.org






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

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