Friday links: Stephen Heard vs. faculty job interviews, Robert Trivers bio and biopic, and more

Also this week: how to suggest reviewers for your next paper, best ecology papers of the last 5 years, xkcd vs. Terry McGlynn, and more.

From Jeremy:

Earlier this week I asked, “What’s the best ecology paper by a young author published in the last two years?” Caroline Tucker did me one better and asked, “What’s the best ecology paper by anyone in the last 5 years?” She suggests some candidates. I second her shout-out to Vellend 2010–that’s gotta be in the conversation.

Steven Pearlstein’s editorial on four “tough” (read: radical) things universities could do to control costs made a big splash. He got at least one “fact” badly wrong. And there are bigger problems with the piece; rebuttals from Dan Drezner, Matt Reed, and Kevin Gannon here, here, and here.

This is old but I missed it at the time: enough with the ridiculous trope that lots of college students are wasting their time majoring in “useless” subjects like philosophy and art history–and the trope that those subjects are in fact a waste of time, even from a narrowly careerist perspective.

Stephen Heard on how he flubbed his first faculty job interview. I did too–the second embarrassing anecdote in this post is from my first interview. As I said in that old post, at some point in their professional lives everyone embarrasses themselves. It happens. So if it happens to you, you’re not alone.

AsPredicted is a new site making it easy to preregister your next study design. Here’s a good post from Data Colada on why you might want to preregister with AsPredicted–focusing on the selfish benefits to you. Although I would quibble with the post’s (presumably unintended) implication that any analytical decision is kosher so long as you preregister it. Continuing to collect data until you get a nominally statistically-significant effect in the desired direction is p-hacking even it’s preregistered. Anyway, the site was developed by and aimed at psychologists, but I didn’t see anything indicating it couldn’t be used by folks in other fields. I’ll be curious to see if it increases the use of preregistration for original studies, as opposed to replications of published studies.

Methods Blog on the do’s and don’ts of suggesting preferred and non-preferred reviewers in your cover letter to the journal editor. Mostly echoes my own advice.

A reminder that students often don’t know what’s best for their own learning. Student course evaluations should be read accordingly (and taken with a very large grain of salt).

“Wild Life”, a documentary about Robert Trivers, is coming out this spring. (ht Marginal Revolution) (UPDATE: Trivers’ memoir, also called Wild Life, just came out. Without wanting to spoil anything for you, the title is apt. If you like scientific biographies, this should definitely be on your holiday gift list.)

And finally, an xkcd featuring Terry McGlynn! Sort of. 🙂

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