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Comment: Re:All is vanity? (Score 2) 200

by geogob (#47993481) Attached to: Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

Maybe it was so cheap because it doesn't seem to do much

Although I do not share your view on this mission and on why its payload is limited, I believe you correctly identified the trick to limit costs: Keep and simple.

Management costs are not linear with mission complexity. As the payload and complexity increase, so does the risk of something going wrong, leading to increased costs in planing and designing the whole thing. Because the costs are higher, the pressure for success increases and the need to cross-check every detail arises, implicating even more costs. You fall in a upward spiral for costs. Interfacing/integration costs are of course also higher with more complex mission, but they are not as non-linear as management costs.

In keeping a mission simple, you may limit the management cost explosion. In a sense it is sad because it means you are so cheap, no one cares if you fail (other than you). As soon as the financial sources start to care, you get into NASA/ESA budget regions. So maybe it is the best way to proceed, making multiple smaller mission.

The Canadian ACE/SCISAT mission also achieved something similar. Its a very simple science satellite, with only two instruments. The costs were ridiculous and the time from planing to launch was extreme short. Considering it flew totally new and revolutionary instrument designs, I find that quite amazing. The mission as now significantly outlived its initial planning and is one of the most successful scientific earth observing mission. So much for those who think it has something to do with the costs of engineering in India. I doubt the Canadians engineers are much cheaper than the American ones. The key to success was to keep and small.

Comment: Re:His articles on PubPeer (Score 1) 167

by geogob (#47976149) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Police may investigate under cover, but once the facts are there and clear, you get before the justice in an open system, where you confront your accuser and defend your position. A unbiased judge then makes a decision based on the facts. True peer review also follows a similar principle, or at least aims to. (I am the first to say that it doesn't work well and needs to be reviewed - I already said that - but the idea is nevertheless one if impartial review of scientific work).

What you are suggesting has nothing to do with policing, justice or peer reviewing. It's pure street justice and I'll have none of that with my science. Thank you.

Comment: Re:Anonymous public peer review (Score 3, Insightful) 167

by geogob (#47972205) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Sorry, but I won't hesitate to openly criticize a bigwig if I believe I have the basis to do so. I won't sell my integrity for a tenured position. But I will not do it on A platform like PubPeer.

Not sure if to "wash dirty linen" exactly convey what I meant, but regardless I did not suggest this was the case or that is done. I said it is an open door to such action. As I am not a user of the PubPeer platform, I cannot judge if comments meant to attack the reputation of an other due to private disputes commonly occur. Furthermore, such attacks with other motive as pure improvement of scientific publication quality are difficult to spot, because this is what anonymous commenting enables to do.

Tenure track are extremely competitive, especially in fields like biomedical research. Knowing the human nature and with some of the dirty stuff I saw in my career, I can't imaging nobody would abuse this system to wrongfully block someone's progress at some point.

Comment: Re:His articles on PubPeer (Score 4, Interesting) 167

by geogob (#47972135) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Even if some comments are clearly justified, from many comments one can discern a pattern of an active campaign against the other. For example, one commenter posts :

This brings the total number of paper with problems for Dr. Sarkar, at Wayne State Unversity, to what? 50, 60 papers commented on PubPeer??!!

Most of the image reviews have also been made by the same person, indicating an active campaign against the author.

As well as this may be justified, this is not the proper way to address critical review of already published papers. Assuming that the issues are that important (I can't judge as it is quite far from my field of expertise), letters should be sent to the editors highlighting the issues. Also, review or comment paper could be submitted to the journals.

Comment: Re:Anonymous public peer review (Score 1) 167

by geogob (#47972079) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

I'd like to add, that most journals have a post-publishing commenting processes. Open letters, comments and critics may be addressed regarding published articles. Following those errata and replies may be published. This process is, in my opinion, underestimated and under-used.

Also, editors should be contacted if obvious ethical problem should arise with already published articles.

(OT: and sorry for the few typos in the above post.)

Comment: Anonymous public peer review (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by geogob (#47972027) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

I have a real problem with the concept of anonymous peer review without editorial oversight or not included in a due peer review process. That said, I do recognize the interest for post-publication peer review due to lacks in the commonly used review processes, although I do not believe this should be allowed to be done anonymously.

Anonymous review is usual in the peer-review processes of most journals, but these comments are in general non-public or at least reviewed by an editor before publication. Some reviewers choose to do their peer-review work without the cover of anonymity and I encourage this. If you have constructive criticism on the work of an other and can this criticism is well founded, you can very well do it openly.

I believe that the best why to process with peer-review is with a two steps process, where first the submitted paper is published in an open discussion paper. Comments from the official reviewers are public and any one can comment on the papers. Following the peer review process, the paper is published in the official paper which may be with or without open access (I prefer those with open access). Such a process encourages quality and brings the whole community in the peer-review process, but under the oversight of editors.

Something like PubPeer is extremely tricky. It's an open door to abuse and for commenter to wash their dirty linen in public. I don't know if such a platform is a good idea, especially with anonymity. I'd rather have a good review of the peer-review processes commonly used.

Comment: Re:So-to-speak legal (Score 1) 418

by geogob (#47908147) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

I understand that in most states, no proof of damage must be given. In many states, the statement itself suffices. An audience is not necessary.

But hey, IANAL. And especially defamation legislation is tricky in the US. Regardless I would press charges (which is more accurately said than "sue them").

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson