No video this week, instead, I wanted to share a recent comic from the always thought-provoking and funny Randall Munroe. Here, he takes on the unspoken themes behind many scientific papers.
I’m sure many of those hit home, and was thinking about a few I could add from the many bibliometric and other analyses I read these days (“This phenomenon in a small number of journals is correlative with too many confounding factors to really understand, and I will grudgingly mention that, but I’m still going to strongly suggest it is causative, because I really want it to be” or “Here’s some ideas I have about how the world should work”).
What about you — what are the standard papers in your field?
23 Thoughts on "XKCD on the Types of Scientific Papers — What Would You Add to this List?"
This light travelled a loooooooooong way through the universe before it it hit our shiny new sensor, you’ll be AMAZED at what it means.
Papers that contain semicolons or witty remarks in their titles, or are submitted just before midnight on Wednesday’s in mid-summer get more citations! We don’t know why, but that won’t stop me from speculating!
GPs should know more about this…
We don’t know and have not figured out how to know what we don’t know
We compared dozens and dozens of variables, and a few of them seem to be vaguely correlated.
I changed one variable in the experiment by a factor of 0.000000001 percent and got a new result which varies from the original result by 0.0000000000000000002 percent.
Undomesticated Hominid You Engender my Cardiovascular Musculature to Erupt in Song
People are messing up the planet, and here’s how
Climate change will likely accelerate/exacerbate problems we’ve had for years
We know how to solve the problem, but people won’t change because money
Here Are 4,317 Words to Say the Revised Standard Now Establishes Three Tests Instead of One as Best Practice
New trial on overdone topic reveals previous outcomes remain constant.
Here’s something we did at our place that worked out good.
Hey! I see you have published lots of articles on X, so here is another one saying much the same thing …
Opportunistic paper about COVID-19 using my favorite theoretical approach https://twitter.com/masonporter/status/1273054551583555585
When a person who is already sick gets something else they do worse than if they had not already been sick with something else. Let’s check this on every single condition known.
I added an nth confounding variable. There’s still an opportunity for further research.
Here’s how covid-19 might affect my research area.
Here’s what my research area can do about covid-19.
Competing interest: guilty of both!
Global decline and die off of houseplants left unwatered for months in empty offices: unintended consequences of a global pandemic.
File under climate change (indoor category) or COVID?
It’s a meme. Here’s a redo from ecology. How ’bout them Creative Commons?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
This means that you are free to copy and reuse any of my drawings (noncommercially) as long as you tell people where they’re from.
That is, you don’t need my permission to post these pictures on your website (and hotlinking with is fine); just include a link back to this page. Or you can make Livejournal icons from them, but — if possible — put xkcd.com in the comment field. You can use them freely (with some kind of link) in not-for-profit publications, and I’m also okay with people reprinting occasional comics (with clear attribution) in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, and presentations. If you’re not sure whether your use is noncommercial, feel free to email me and ask (if you’re not sure, it’s probably okay).