maandag 30 september 2013

What is this researcher afraid of?

A thoughtful article in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant of 25 September 2013 deals with publishing in Science and Nature and cites a researcher who wishes to remain anonymous:
We try every now and again to get in the top journals, because Science or Nature look good on your cv (...) But it's nonsense. My two most important articles (...) were not even considered by Science or Nature. On the other hand: I once had a Nature publication on what was absolutely the worst experiment I ever did. But that was on a hot and photogenic topic. (...) What matters to the editing boards of those journals is to keep up the status of the journal, by keeping up their impact factor. This automatically leads to a preference for fields and articles that will be cited a lot. (...) The result is also that editors have less expertise in less popular disciplines, and they have failed recently in that respect.
This is very similar to Ray Hilborn's complaints about the quality of these two journals. But then, why does this researcher want to remain anonymous? What is he or she afraid of? Being sued or ostracized by Nature and Science editors? (If he or she has reason to be afraid, why am I putting this on my blog? Oh wait...)

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