Also this week: social media vs. everything, stories behind the papers, Evolution is going to double-blind review, and more. Oh, and Edward Scissorhands as a barista.
Evolution is transitioning to mandatory double-blind review in January. I think it’s a worthwhile experiment. I like that they’re making double-blind mandatory, because otherwise people likely would opt out non-randomly, making it harder to learn from the experiment. I remain unsure it’s going to be an improvement over the status quo and slightly worried it might be worse, given that the status quo at at least some ecology & evolution journals is gender-neutral outcomes without double-blinding, and that blinding gets seen through pretty often and (crucially) non-randomly.
Stephen Heard on why you shouldn’t publish the reviews your papers receive. I particularly like Stephen’s depressing but probably-correct point that it won’t actually increase trust in the peer review system. This is one of those issues for which there are good arguments on both sides (see Stephen’s links and the very good comment thread for these). I lean towards Stephen’s side but it’s not a strong lean. It’s hard to judge what would happen if reviews were published on a wide scale without, you know, actually publishing them on a wide scale. You can’t learn all that much from journal-level experiments on this because of self-selection. Anybody who doesn’t like Nature Communications’ new policy of publishing reviews can just not review for them.
Amy Parachnowitsch on whether social media is ruining everything. Good balanced post. A good example of why I don’t consider blogging to be social media, because I think blogging suffers less from some of the issues Amy identifies.
That viral tweet from 2014, predicting a 2016 Cubs-Indians World Series that would go to extra innings in game 7, is a prediction scam. Good fodder for an intro stats course or quantitative reasoning course. (UPDATE: The story has been corrected. Prediction scams are a thing. This particular example may have been a prediction scam, but that hasn’t been confirmed. I’d say the article is still useful fodder for an intro stats course. But now it’s also useful fodder for a journalism course. Thank you to a commenter for pointing out the correction.)
And finally, this week in Non-Scientific Humor Only Canadians Will Appreciate (ht @dandrezner):
I can only assume this coffee chain puts out its pumpkin spice lates around Christmas.🙂
+1000 Internet Points for the best Tim Burtons/Tim Hortons joke in the comments.🙂