Archive for: August, 2012

It's dark in here

Aug 29 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

I seem to have dug myself into a rather deep hole with my last post on suggested reviewers.

I was wrong. Excluding suggested reviewers in order to avoid using bogus suggestions likely does more harm than good.

6 responses so far

Suggested reviewers

Aug 27 2012 Published by under Careers

Pretty much every journal requires authors to suggest potential reviewers at the time of manuscript submission. Some require four. Others requires as many as six, which can be a right royal pain in the butt. But it's required. Supposedly to help the overworked editorial types of the journal find the right reviewers.

But guess what? I try hard not to use them.

I'm on the editorial board of a middling journal and am often looking for reviewers. But I try not to use the suggested ones. Why? Well, all too often authors suggest people they shouldn't. Like co-authors from previous papers. Collaborators. And the like. I find I spend just as much time trying to figure out whether a suggested reviewer is a kosher suggestion as I would just identifying new ones of my own choosing.

And now there's an additional reason to view reviewer suggestions with some suspicion.

Okay, so I suspect the above is a rarity. And it's certainly fairly easy to confirm the correct email address information for a suggested reviewer. But still...

Finding reviewers isn't easy. By that I mean people actually willing to review a manuscript. So sometimes I do have to resort to using a suggested reviewer or two. But I sure as hell make sure they're relevant suggestions.

The upshot is, if you have me as the handling editor you may be better off putting down people you don't want to review your manuscript as suggested reviewers.*

* This is an attempt at humor.

21 responses so far

Is tenure really what we think it is?

Aug 23 2012 Published by under Careers, Life

Read this: Court Rejects Law Professor's Assertion That 'Tenure' Means Continuous Employment.

So what does this mean for academic tenure in general? Maybe it's not as ironclad as people often think.


12 responses so far

Money money money

Aug 22 2012 Published by under Life

Hey folks,
Some of you may have noticed we now have some ads on Scientopia. Look over there on the right. Believe it or not, it takes $'s to run this place. And so far all of the costs have been shouldered by one very generous member of the collective. We want to do what's right and raise the money necessary to a) pay that person back, and b) pay for the operating costs of this joint. The PayPal button (also to the right) was our first baby step in that direction. Now we have ads.

They're not particularly obtrusive. And can be quite funny. The first two I spotted on my blog were for a "stop drinking" program and for hops. Eerily appropriate. Later there were ads for pint glasses. And that "stop drinking" program again.

Anyway, that's the deal.

2 responses so far

She's right of course

Aug 02 2012 Published by under Life

I'm referring to Gerty-Z. A few minutes ago she put up a post on staying out of the fray. GZ's referring to the current Chick-Fil-A brouhaha. Basically the supposedly Christian owners of this fast food chain have publicly declared they are against gay marriage. They apparently also give money to various groups that are stridently anti-gay. GZ points out that staying quiet on this matter is akin to doing nothing when you spy a bully beating up a smaller kid.

Up to this point I've said nothing. At least not online.

I'm not sure why. Perhaps because others have done such a good job of refuting the hatemongers.

But she's right of course. Silence doesn't help.

I've never been comfortable with Chick-Fil-A's supposedly Christian roots. And I don't eat there. Now I never will.

I can't stand Christians of convenience like Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A's president. Convenience? Yep. As so eloquently stated by Jackson Pearce, Cathy and his followers are quite happy to quote bible passages that "support" their hatred of gays, but are equally happy to ignore passages that are inconvenient. Like the ones about men being able to have more than one wife. And concubines. The stoning of cheating spouses. Etc. What a bunch of hypocrites.

And before one of them comes here and says I'm trampling on their First Amendment rights, as far as I'm concerned Cathy and his sycophantic followers can say and believe whatever they like. That's their right. The whole "trampling on my rights" argument is just a distraction tactic increasingly being employed by conservatives, and particularly by religious conservatives, to cover up the fact that it is they who are trying to reduce the rights of those they don't like.

I have gay friends and family. They have as much right to love and happiness as anyone else. I apologize to them for not saying something sooner.

9 responses so far