A Blog Around The Clock

It appears that Jorge Cham has been reading some of these posts or associated FriendFeed threads, because today’s PhDcomics strip is this one:

i-cfcbc5aa6e25be305fecee45eeea595d-phdcomic comments.gif

I am wondering how many of ‘weissberg’s’ comments have been removed by the moderators over the years.

Also, if duplicate comments are posted 14 years apart, is it because MoveableType stalled that long? Do they even count as duplicates any more?

And why did the reviewer take so long to post the review? And how does one get scooped by a 14-year old paper? Just the lack of habit of reading historical literature?

Task: identify the paper this is attached to (I see Miguel Nikolelis in the References, so it will be some kind of multi-electrode brain monitoring, most likely)?


  1. #1 James F
    May 28, 2009


  2. #2 Coturnix
    May 28, 2009

    LOL! Am I supposed to flame you now?

  3. #3 Christopher Taylor
    May 29, 2009

    I recently found I’d been scooped by a 99-year old paper.

  4. #4 Neil
    May 29, 2009
  5. #5 Heather Etchevers
    May 29, 2009

    Of course, research papers DO now have a comment section. Perhaps Jorge was imagining them a few years from now. I would kill to see a thread like that on PLoS… 🙂

    By the way I am just tickled pink that the enterprise I so vehemently supported when receiving a first letter from Harold Varmus back in 1994, I think, is so successful. I vow to publish in a PLoS baby someday…!

  6. #6 Tanja Sova
    May 29, 2009

    aaaaahhhhhh memories… I think the best part would be to learn about people posting comments, I mean reviewing. When someone you consider the authority comments on your draft paper, you have open access to his/her own knowledge/ignorance about the subject. Now, it stays between few people, but being published, it would bring some major changes in the positions researchers have, don’t you think? Would be hard to pose after posting certain comments. I think open access with possibility of posting comments is one of the ways to correct some injustice. However, you can not make someone post the comment, but I wish certain comments were posted publicly, world would not be the same…

    Just not to be misunderstood: we all are ignorant by default (“as the island of knowledge grows bigger, the shore of ignorance grows larger”), it is the attitude about ignorance I talk about: if the person works on his/her own improving and learning, I consider positive; if insists on his/her opinion regardless of the facts telling opposite (“the grass is red because I say so, I am authority and you can shut up”), that is what kind of people I am referring to in the beginning of the comment.

  7. #7 Mary Jane
    May 29, 2009

    Did you know it was a PLOS paper, Bora?

    Dr. Nicolelis is one of our own — go Duke! (that would be my comment on this paper….)

    Carmena, J.M., Lebedev, M.A., Crist, R.E., O’Doherty, J.E., Santucci, D.M., Dimitrov, D.F., Patil, P.G., Henriquez, C.S., Nicolelis, M.A.L. (2003) Learning to control a brain-machine interface for reaching and grasping by primates. PLoS Biology, 1: 193-208.

  8. #8 Coturnix
    May 29, 2009

    Apparently it is this paper. Is it?

    I have met Nicolelis a few years back – he came to our Sensory Physiology graduate seminar to talk about his stuff. Quite a character.

  9. #9 John Hawks
    May 29, 2009

    If you liked this post, you should check out the work by Hawks et al.

  10. #10 Mary
    May 29, 2009

    But there’s no assault on the integrity of the researchers because of their pharma funding. Or the fact that peer-review is worthless (as I have been told).

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