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Author Topic: Naked Scientists Publish their First Scientific Paper  (Read 7554 times)

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Just a thought, here we have some pretty amazing people all corresponding with each other and addressing some pretty impressive topics.
Many of the people here are familiar with the peer review system, some may have even reviewed papers themselves. Our community shines like the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and due to the varied skills of our members we can often look at problems from different perspectives.

Naked Scientists is evolving, currently metamorphosed yet waiting to emerge into something greater than ever believed possible. I can feel the trembling beneath the floor turning into a massive earthquake that will shake the very foundations of science.

Yet for now we appear to be content with ping pong table tennis, batting ideas back and forward to each other only to find some pretty amazing threads growing colder and drifting off into the void of the cgi.bin

Then the penny dropped into the slot and the door became unlocked.

Recently the peer review system has been undergoing considerable review. The old system was antiquated, unreliable, often biased and allowed some bad science to become published and in the public domain, only to find a year or two down the road that all was not as it should be.

Fortunately the new system, even though not perfect, allows authors to select their own peer reviewers, who of course must be respected reputable people working in the target field of the paper.

How would publishing Nakedscientists collectively authored papers sound to everyone on this amazing forum?


 

Offline SquarishTriangle

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« Reply #1 on: 23/04/2008 11:29:41 »
Science and its literature are not immune to flaws, but its ability to recognise its past mistakes and grow from them makes it great. It's an ongoing process of learning and revising, refining and redefining. And it's ok to be wrong sometimes...a lot of the time. For me, that’s what makes it respectable. No one will ever be sure if we are truly 'right' about anything. But an extraordinary amount of work goes into providing evidence to support or disprove what we think we know; and so that we can be confident that our ideas might at least be headed in the right direction.

With bias in papers, however much our ideals would like them to be free of that quality, it will continue exist to some degree as long as writers (and editors) continue to have views.

…There are reasons why it takes an amazing amount of work to get papers published in reputable papers. And reasons why reputable papers are reputable. Think about that.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #2 on: 23/04/2008 17:47:46 »
I guess we already know that science is not without its fair share of problems, if it were not, then there would be no point having scientists.

And by the sounds of it you have had some experience with the peer review system.

So how do you feel about a group of people involved with this forum putting forward some valuable scientific paper? After all this is the end goal for scientists so why should we stop short of publication on subjects that have been dealt with in depth on these forums, how much more work would it take to put together a package containing data to prove or even disprove something in the literature? Or maybe release a completely new paradigm.

If we could do something like this collectively it would make our forum shine among the whole web.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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« Reply #3 on: 23/04/2008 21:31:40 »
well, the problem i see with that idea is that we do not "study" anyting, and this have no data to be published.  While we have some greta discussions on this forum, they are all discussions based either on our own personal opinions, OR backed up by data that has already been published by others.  I suppose this is what constitutes a "review" paper, but we don't have any material with which to put together an actual research paper.  Reviews are tricky, you usually have to be very established in the field which you are reviewing to get a review paper published.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #4 on: 23/04/2008 22:41:47 »


Naked Scientists is evolving, currently metamorphosed yet waiting to emerge into something greater than ever believed possible. I can feel the trembling beneath the floor turning into a massive earthquake that will shake the very foundations of science.


Not one for hyperbole, are you!  :D

I find myself in agreement with Mayo. How many of us here are actually engaged in reasearch? I know that you, Andrew, have been known to dabble a bit ( :P ), but are there any others?.
« Last Edit: 23/04/2008 22:46:14 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline techmind

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« Reply #5 on: 23/04/2008 23:36:54 »
I'm sort-of involved in "research" - as a scientist in industry.

As a previous poster said, we don't collectively "study" anything - the forum is about ideas (and collective opinions). Much more suited to writing a book aimed at the general public than a scientific paper. Haven't we done that before???  ;D

Mind you, is "interdisciplinery" still as much of a buzzword as it was 7-10 years ago?
The potential for cross-fertilization of ideas must be one of our particular strengths.

I suppose someone could write a paper on the nature of the interactions on this board, sieving out common themes, or common misconceptions of non-scientists, or categorising the subject of most frequent topics started by newcomers...
You could analyse the Google search-terms which bring people to this site for the first time - and make some dodgey inferences as to what "the public" is seeking to find out (in the obligatory "discussion" section you can debate the inherent bias in the results in that people will only be led to the site by search-engines if we've already discussed the topic).

You could analyse the ages and contribution of regular posters, and hopefully not find that the main discussions are only among "old boys" from "the firm".  :D

I'm sure there's opportunities for a social-science study. Are we "inclusive"? Are our more "establishment" scientists too defensive? Is this justified? Is it to do with the way scientists tend to interpret language differently (or more literally) than non-scientists? Are some of us like "bots" which quickly fire off standard replies (especially on pet subjects) in response to certain keywords... without necessarily giving credit to the question as a whole. (I might be guilty of that sometimes...)

You could analyse the grammatical sentence and language structure, incidence of spelling errors and typos, and compare to other forums (normalising for intellectual level) and come to further dodgey conclusions on whether or not scientists tend to be more detail-centric (in their spelling for example) than non-scientists - or whether we write longer sentences with lots of parentheses (subclauses) and qualifications ("usually", "mostly", "in the typical case", "no known exceptions" etc). That's me! Overly guarding against the risk of being wrong, allowing some wriggle-room... :-)

We could always do some sloppy analysis, then put together a press release (which is in reality no more than a thinly-veiled advertisement for thenakedscientists.com ) and then come clean two weeks later on what it achieved... using another press-release - showing how easily the media can be manipulated. Am I cynical? Am I?
« Last Edit: 23/04/2008 23:50:38 by techmind »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #6 on: 24/04/2008 00:11:32 »
How about analysing the difference in posts by people in different countries? Good opportunity for a bit of anthropological research there!  :P
 

lyner

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« Reply #7 on: 24/04/2008 09:48:17 »
The only stuff worth 'publishing' is evidence-based. Where would we get our evidence?
However much it may rankle with people outside the conventional Science world, there are a lot of influences in Universities and research establishments which keeps things on the rails. 'Alternative' (and I use the word kindly) views of Science really must work hard to get accepted or the motion of Science would be Brownian.
Who would select what to publish, what to quote? We have enough trouble trying to introduce credible Science and some rigour into our idle ramblings, I really can't see NS producing anything like a serious paper. It's just not the right vehicle.
What NS does is to influence its potentially influential members and inject interesting ideas into the mainstream in a subtle way. That's the way it works. Long may it prosper.
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #8 on: 26/04/2008 21:45:29 »

The only stuff worth 'publishing' is evidence-based. Where would we get our evidence?
...
What NS does is to influence its potentially influential members and inject interesting ideas into the mainstream in a subtle way.
That's the way it works. Long may it prosper.


Thanks sophiecentaur,
I agree 100%. That's exactly like it is.
I see this forum prospering day by day!  [^]
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #9 on: 27/04/2008 11:14:50 »
I agree what NS is doing at present reflects the two previous posts. I don't agree that NS is sterile with regards to coming up with a decent published paper that will add to the literature.

The thing about saying we can't do this n that because
Or indeed saying that we can do this and that because
will in inevitably mean we cant be wrong whichever way we go!

But believe it or not we have already begun the debate about a possibility that did not enter anyone’s mind a few days ago :) And I thank you for this (bowing humbly)
 

lyner

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« Reply #10 on: 27/04/2008 11:32:08 »
Quote
I don't agree that NS is sterile with regards to coming up with a decent published paper that will add to the literature.
Sterility isn't the point; it's more a matter of appropriateness.

OK write a paper and see if you can get a body of support; it must be 'acceptable' by a significant number of contributors. It will need to be scientifically 'bomb-proof' before it will be worth publishing.
'Pet' theories won't be suitable; they are better for publication by individuals.
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #11 on: 27/04/2008 12:40:08 »
Quote
I don't agree that NS is sterile with regards to coming up with a decent published paper that will add to the literature.

'Pet' theories won't be suitable; they are better for publication by individuals.


What the heck is a 'pet' theory?
Sorry, but I learned English from a book!  ;D

ikoD
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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« Reply #12 on: 30/04/2008 05:13:29 »
Andrew, I still don't see where you think the source of new information is coming from.  Unless you are proposing that we discuss possible experiments to be done on here, and then one of us goes and does them.  But in that case, TNS would be no different than any group of scientists bouncing ideas off one another.  The actual work still needs to be done somehow.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #13 on: 30/04/2008 06:38:00 »
Quote
I don't agree that NS is sterile with regards to coming up with a decent published paper that will add to the literature.

'Pet' theories won't be suitable; they are better for publication by individuals.


What the heck is a 'pet' theory?
Sorry, but I learned English from a book!  ;D

ikoD

Could it be a Positron Emission Tomography theory? ;D
 

lyner

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« Reply #14 on: 30/04/2008 09:27:56 »
Quote
What the heck is a 'pet' theory?
Sorry - jargon.
A 'pet' theory is a theory you come up with because you rather fancy it ; it's a personal favourite or 'pet'. It may be very much at odds with received wisdom and not based on serious evidence. We all have them but we couldn't really expect others to join us in publishing them.
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #15 on: 03/05/2008 20:49:55 »
Quote
What the heck is a 'pet' theory?
Sorry - jargon.

A 'pet' theory is a theory you come up with because you rather fancy it ; it's a personal favourite or 'pet'. It may be very much at odds with received wisdom and not based on serious evidence. We all have them but we couldn't really expect others to join us in publishing them.

Thanks sophiecentaur,
Now I know how to call my favourite thread!  :D
PoorlyEvidencedTrembling theory

« Last Edit: 03/05/2008 21:00:04 by iko »
 

lyner

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« Reply #16 on: 04/05/2008 18:25:35 »
Pretty Excellent Thinking?
 

Offline iko

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« Reply #17 on: 05/05/2008 21:26:51 »
Pretty Excellent Thinking?

In my particular case it sounds much better: 

Parents Enhancing Treatment theory
(cod liver oil & Leukemia)

« Last Edit: 05/05/2008 21:30:51 by iko »
 

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« Reply #17 on: 05/05/2008 21:26:51 »

 

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