I’ve hit a new low- I’ve taken to trolling comments on the internet:
I’m not sure what prompted me to write it- I think because the person I replied to quoted me, and had throughout the comments provided information like they know what’s going on but clearly don’t.
I don’t imagine I’ll make a habit of it. The article that generated the comment was pretty interesting, though- some chilling statistics on publication trends from NRC (if they are right- see below). As some of the commenters said, it would also be interesting to see how that correlates with funding and staffing as well.
Others have already started looking more closely at the article- see this tweet from @thelabandfield and the conversation it links to;
It’s worth a look at some of the threads it stimulated between a few other folks, if you’re on twitter. Certainly warrants a closer look at the numbers, anyway.
Isn’t it interesting that a magazine article written about science communication ends up in a bit of post-publication peer review itself? Great to see scienctific rigour alive and well on the internet. Let’s hope it generates a more concrete assessment of these statistics, as I think an accurate accounting moving forward will be an important metric of the affects of the ongoing cuts and rule changes within government departments. One aspect worth looking into (as suggested by @thelabandfield) would be the degree to which government scientists relegate themselves to co-author status (with a first author in academics) in order to get the work out there and have someone able to talk about it. Even then, as co-authors, our supervisors are the ones signing the copyright release and reviewing final drafts accepted for publication.