Monday, August 24, 2015

Research Monday 4: The Not-Yet-Published Research Problem

This is something I often fume about, the pre-publicity of papers not yet published or not yet available.

Why is this custom bad?  Because no potential critic can read the paper!  So those promoting it have all the aces up their sleeves.  How can you even ask another expert to comment when the paper is not yet available?

Suppose that the paper is then never published at all (yes, this has happened)!  Or suppose that it's published but has serious methodological problems.  Will there be a second wave of debates about it?

You can guess the answer to that question.  Once again, amateur readers will be left with the impression that the original advertising wanted to give.

The most recent example of this I came across can be found in this post.  And no, I never got an answer from the author.

The worst experience I've had about unavailable research papers is described in this 2006 post.  It's written a bit euphemistically but you can read between the lines.