Friday links: cutest replication failure, insect theft, and more

Also this week: Ecolog-L’s (eventual) replacement launched, big new global survey of peer reviewers, the fight to conserve rare non-existent species, hockey vs. academia, order ALL the pipets, and more

From Jeremy:

The ESA is launching a new online community, Ecologists Collaborating Online (ECO). It’s currently open only to ESA members but soon will be open to others and replacing the Ecolog-L listserv. I haven’t checked it out yet but plan to do so. I’ll be curious to see if it gets taken up, and for what purposes. For many years, I’ve mostly only used Ecolog-L as a jobs/studentship board, a purpose for which it remains quite popular. As a discussion forum, Ecolog-L leaves a lot to be desired. Which doesn’t necessarily mean we need a replacement discussion forum. In a world with social media, is there much need or demand for a public discussion forum run by ESA? I guess we’ll find out!

Coincidentally, the American Economics Association just launched its own moderated message board/discussion forum, for which AEA members are automatically registered and for which others can register for free. The AEA is trying to outcompete a popular but extremely toxic anonymous discussion forum for academic economists called Econ Job Market Rumors.

A global survey of 11,000 researchers about their experiences of, and attitudes about, peer review has just been published. Nature news piece here. Among the highlights:

  • 79% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of peer review (aside: are you surprised it’s that high? I’m not.)
  • 10% of reviewers do 50% of the reviews
  • Only 41% of researchers cite “doing reviews is part of my job” as one of their top two reasons for reviewing (aside: I’m shocked and depressed it’s that low)
  • Journal editors report inviting an average of 2.4 reviewers per review received, up from 1.9 in 2013.
  • Peer reviews from China and other middle-income countries are increasing in frequency

An estimate of how much topic-specific grant money a funding agency has to offer to induce scientists to switch to working on that topic. Unreviewed preprint; I skimmed it, but I’m not an expert in the methods so all I can say is that the methods look standard to me and the conclusions seem plausible. (ht Marginal Revolution)

Lessons for academia, learned from being bad at hockey. (ht @jtlevy)

It’s looking like the theft of thousands of insects from the Philadelphia Insectarium was the work of a disgruntled ex-employee.

Get out of my head.

When concern for rare species goes just a little too far. 🙂

The EiC of Am Nat, everyone! Who will also be delivering the 2019 Darwin Lecture at Calgary. I am already thinking about how to work this little incident into my introductory remarks for him. 🙂

The cutest replication failure. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Friday links: cutest replication failure, insect theft, and more

  1. “Only 41% of researchers cite “doing reviews is part of my job” as one of their top two reasons for reviewing (aside: I’m shocked and depressed it’s that low)”

    I can see how the other options may be better reasons/motivations for doing peer reviews (e.g., “to do my fair share”, “keep up to date on lit”, and “ensure research quality” have the next 3 highest proportions of responses).

    • Yes, I don’t mean to criticize those other reasons. Heck, they’re all among my reasons for doing peer reviews! And maybe if they’d let respondents choose as many reasons as they wanted, a much higher percentage would’ve chosen “doing reviews is part of my job”.

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