Weekend reads: Sokal on Sokal Squared hoax; is open access enough?; replication in the humanities

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a showdown over a paper on abortion laws that left no one happy; the retraction of a highly cited paper for “overlap;” and three retractions for researchers whose university stopped responding to a publisher. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

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3 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Sokal on Sokal Squared hoax; is open access enough?; replication in the humanities”

  1. Sorry for asking this for I am not in the academic world (and not following current research trend outside of my field of interest), but I wonder why there is much research about gender publication gap? (There is always a few post about this issue in every retraction watch weekend reading list). Is there any proof that by inclusion of women will lead to higher research impact? I did not meant this as a sexist question, but I thought those who where included as an author are the one whose responsible to that research development itself? (So those who are included are the one responsible, regardless of gender).

    Are these gender gap research conducted for the sake of diversity? Or for improving research impact?

  2. It is true that to be included as an author on a publication requires meeting a certain level of contribution to the effort. The requirements are pretty clear so you get included or not without regard to gender. No one is suggesting that women should be given authorship they didn’t earn.
    Looking at publications by the male and female authors is of interest from another perspective. You (and your coworkers) do the research, write the manuscript, and send it to a journal for review. Reviews are subjective. Reviewers are anonymous but they usually are told whose work they are reviewing. Will your manuscript receive an unbiased review if you’re relatively unknown, a junior researcher, from a little-known university, and/or female? Just about everyone has their biases, conscious or un. Looking at the results of this system of publication (and career productivity) not about increasing diversity – it’s about fairness to a diverse population of researchers.

  3. Sokal points out in “Fashionable Nonsense” that some fashionable humanistic writers may be properly condemned on the basis of their highly improper use of scientific words having well defined meanings in the physical science

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