Fake Reviews

October 22, 2015


Amazon has been in the news regarding their suing people who write fake reviews of their products. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine describes cases where authors supply fake names and emails when a journal to which they have submitted a publication asks for suggested reviewers. These emails belong to the author, who then writes fake reviews so the article gets accepted.

I don’t there if there is a connection but in the past year or so, I get an email about once a week from different journals asking me to submit an article. I assume that many people gets these emails.

And don’t forget this site, which allows one to generate a fake paper.

The most cited method evaluation paper

October 10, 2015


Last year, Nature compiled the 100 most cited scientific papers. The top paper that deals with method evaluation is Bland and Altman’s paper from the Lancet in 1986. Number 29 on the all-time list, this paper is the source for the Bland-Altman (or difference) plot and associated statistics. One of the reasons that this paper is so popular is that is makes a complex topic simple. What could be easier than to plot differences. A paper in Clinical Chemistry showed that in spite of the popularity of the Bland-Altman method, it was not used as much as one might expect (only about a third of papers used it).

Here’s a thought about total error

October 5, 2015


If total error – calculated by the usual models – is set to equal 95% of the results, then how can 95% instead of 100% represent total error? Shouldn’t “total” imply all results? Putting things another way, what do you call the additional 5%?

Word doesn’t recognize measurand

October 1, 2015


I was working on a paper and decided to comply with the nomenclature expected by the journal and used the word “measurand.” The word was underlined as unknown by the dictionary used by “Word.” I went to an online version of the Merriam Webster dictionary and no match for found for measurand. So much for ISO nomenclature.