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The Media Science

Rejected Papers Get More Citations When Eventually Published 73

scibri writes "In a study of more than 80,000 bioscience papers, researchers have illuminated the usually hidden flows of papers from journal to journal before publication. Surprisingly, they found that papers published after having first been rejected elsewhere receive significantly more citations on average than ones accepted on first submission. There were a few other surprises as well...Nature and Science publish more papers that were initially rejected elsewhere than lower-impact journals do. So there is apparently some reason to be patient with your paper's critics — they will do you good in the end."
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Rejected Papers Get More Citations When Eventually Published

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  • by sillivalley ( 411349 ) <{ten.tsacmoc} {ta} {yellavillis}> on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:39PM (#41637785)
    A very good site to monitor is Retraction Watch - []

    They not only follow retractions in journals, but dig into them, and track them to other papers and publications by the same authors.

    For those of us in industry, we forget there are areas of Academia that are dog-eat-dog, publish or perish.

    Under such pressures, authors make up data, manipulate data and/or images, and more.

    Take a look at Retraction Watch for the sordid details -- for us outsiders, it's like a soap opera for the geeky set!
  • by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:06PM (#41638061) Journal

    There are two kinds of papers: invited papers and papers where professors do the peer review thing. I've published some invited papers, but in my experience, there's always at least one a-hole on the review committee who will shoot down my work. The worst example is Professor Larry Pillage, who QuickLogic paid $20K to review my work which I did based on a paper called RICE. He never got it working properly like I did, but after reviewing my work, he claimed it as his own and published it at DAC the next year for a best paper in show award, and then made a mint selling it to all our competitors. That guys is a serious a-hole. He was on most committees I ever tried to publish a paper in, and while I don't get names with the reviews, the psychotic analysis I did sometimes receive seemed 100% Prof Larry Pillage. He stole ideas from great guys like Prof. Ronald Rohrer, who told me once, "We don't tell Larry anything!"

    If publishing papers were more important to me, I'd do something about it, but the reality is people with ideas don't get to publish. People with the right connections and background do. This explains why Nature would do better with rejected papers.

  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @10:09PM (#41638747) Homepage

    the search for legitimacy of their own leads them to ultimately consider only papers that completely agree with conventional wisdom and support the already big names and big theories.

    Not to mention that the reviewers that are willing to review for smaller journals are usually in the same boat—younger faculty trying to get a leg up—and subject to the same pressures and tendencies.

    But even at the large and important journals, there is a tendency to dismiss really interesting papers unless they come from a large name / large name school. You'd better have a long track record and big names behind you or you won't get serious consideration, even if your work is sound and earth-shattering. It's just a matter of the probability of returns on the investment of labor.

    I say all of this as someone that did sit as a managing editor on an academic journal and that has been a part of the review process for any number of articles.

    There are serious inherent biases built into the system, both for good and for bad.

    Much more important to my eye is the fact that this is all free labor but earns the publishers huge profits and costs the schools huge dollars. It's only a matter of time before the current system is overturned. Right now, schools pay money to faculty to write papers, pay money to faculty to review papers, then pay lots of money for the journals. Yet all of the authority of the paper comes from the faculty and from the institution, and circulation is limited to academics because articles run $30-$60 a pop for public access. It's only a matter of time until they cut out the middleman, save tons of costs, and grow their audience at the same time.

  • by ThreeKelvin ( 2024342 ) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:17AM (#41640171)

    Communication skills matter in science!

    It doesn't matter that you have the invented the greatest algorithm since quicksort if you can't or won't tell other people about it. If you can't convince other people how great your work is, they won't use it, and therefore you won't have contributed to the field. When you die the knowledge disappears, and you might as well never have invented the algorithm in the first place.

    Therefore, it is important to convince your audiance that:
    - Your algorithm gets the job done. (Proofs)
    - Your algorithm is better and/or just different than existing algorithms. (Extensive litterature search so that you can compare your algorithm to existing ones)

    Just reporting your algorithm together with a "this is how I do it" doesn't cut it. We researchers don't have the time to examine every claim somebody makes about something in our field.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry