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Comment: Editing (Score 3, Insightful) 49

by bgeezus (#44284749) Attached to: Secrets of Beatboxing Revealed By MRI
Note: USC is not the same thing as UCSD is not the same thing as UCS... But for all you naysayers, keep in mind that there is a tremendous amount we don't understand about the way humans produce sound. By studying the fundamental mechanisms behind human speech production, we can gain insight into that process, and can understand more accurately what happens when things go wrong.

Comment: Re:N = 13? (Score 3, Funny) 192

by bgeezus (#41145525) Attached to: Exposure to Backlit Displays Reduces Melatonin Production
Nice one... you should have been a coauthor of this paper: Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers by Karl Friston.

As an expert reviewer, it is sometimes necessary to ensure a paper is rejected. This can sometimes be achieved by highlighting improper statistical practice. This technical note provides guidance on how to critique the statistical analysis of neuroimaging studies to maximise the chance that the paper will be declined. We will review a series of critiques that can be applied universally to any neuroimaging paper and consider responses to potential rebuttals that reviewers might encounter from authors or editors.

Comment: Re:Market pull [Re:academia is highly competitive] (Score 1) 206

by bgeezus (#38847641) Attached to: Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott
You act as though Ph.D. students aren't being advised and guided by very experienced people. And perhaps we have different thresholds for what a good Ph.D. student is. There are fields (like mine), where good students go straight from grad school to faculty positions. This wouldn't be possible if those grad students weren't doing important work. But again, I'm curious what kind of field you work in where Ph.D. students are so useless as to have almost no meaningful impact on their field until finishing.

Comment: Re:Market pull [Re:academia is highly competitive] (Score 1) 206

by bgeezus (#38842695) Attached to: Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott
I've never been to a major research institution that didn't subscribe to the back catalog of journals from the field I work in. And I'm curious what field you work in -- in my field, *good* Ph.D. students submit to the top tier journals. Good work is good work, and it doesn't matter whether the Ph.D. is finished.

Comment: Re:Market pull [Re:academia is highly competitive] (Score 1) 206

by bgeezus (#38841839) Attached to: Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott
All of the important research universities have subscriptions. And people not from major research universities tend not to do much interesting scientific work. There are a few exceptions to that, of course, but the paywall has relatively no impact on the number of good-quality citations you would get. Having a large number of citations from low-quality work isn't really that helpful in building your status in the field. There are, of course, fields where citation counts are king, and I'm glad not to be a part of one of those. That being said, I think all funding agencies should move toward the NIH open access policy, in which all NIH-funded work must be put, open-access, into PubMed Central. The journals can still charge institutions that are willing to pay, but there is no barrier to access (though you don't get the journal's pretty type setting).

Comment: Re:Will referee? (Score 4, Interesting) 206

by bgeezus (#38841625) Attached to: Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott

what is the magnetic allure of refereeing for Elsevier journals?

Refereeing is a complicated thing. As much as you might hope that all scientists and scientific papers are honest and accurate, this is not always the case. I've refereed for several low-quality journals, not because I took any pride in the act, but because people were submitting low quality papers directly based on my work. If I don't serve as a reviewer for these kinds of papers, then I don't have an opportunity to make sure they did things correctly. And whether or not it's correct, a pile of misinformed papers can still gain traction in the larger community. This is becoming more and more the case, particularly since graduate students (in general) are becoming less and less inclined to do very deep and detailed literature reviews. Reviewing is not about supporting a journal. It's an important duty to prevent the spread of misinformation, and also to make sure that the existing work is described in a proper context. Promising to abstain from reviewing certain journals would be a great disservice to your own work and to your scientific field.

Comment: Re:education is only useful for jobs (Score 5, Insightful) 314

by bgeezus (#38776005) Attached to: Study Analyzes Recent Grads' Unemployment By Major
That's a rather uninformed point of view. Many graduate students go to school "for free" because it is part of their compensation for performing a job (research, teaching, etc.). Grad students who are being paid to do research are generally being paid out of faculty grants -- money that's coming from the federal government (i.e., taxpayers) or from private institutions, NOT from undergraduate tuition. Grad students who are being paid to teach or to grade assignments, etc., are playing an active role in your education. If the school doesn't have graduate students, then it has to hire someone else to perform those same duties. Not to say that there aren't advantages/disadvantages to going to a school without a graduate program, but it's quite myopic to think that most of your tuition was going to support grad students.

Comment: Re:About f*ckin time!!! (Score 1) 119

by bgeezus (#38408734) Attached to: NIH Restricts Use of Chimpanzees in Labs
You do know that the NIH has never been in the business of funding hair dye research, yes? And you also know that several of your close friends and family members wouldn't be alive today or would have debilitating diseases if not for animal testing, yes? Misanthropy is all well and good, but some of us actually care about our loved ones.

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