Articles to 2013-07-22

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

Pessimists admit things might go right but can easily recount dozens of ways how they may go wrong while optimists consent they might fail but enumerate many ways of success. Sonnemann et al. explain the role of this numerical imbalance.

According to Yan et al. variable speed pumps save less than one percent of energy (figures 10 and 15) and the total area served by district heating in China in 2008 was 80 square metres (figure 1). I understand how mistakes like that happen, I make worse every day, but how they survive five co-authors, several referees, plus an editorial team and this in many articles across many journals is utterly beyond me.

After last weeks comments my friend Reinhard corrected me, that geneticists are well aware the bare genome can’t explain everything, and referred me to Schmidt 2010 explaining the role of gene regulation and transcription factors. All true. All the same, if somebody were to run a statistics package across letters, words, and phrases in scientific articles from the Nobel worthy to the insignificant like Rietveld et al. they may well find certain turns of phrase significantly associated with quality at very low probabilities of chance. Correlating those to perceived quality they too might well find an R2 of a whopping 0.0002. Now would anybody take them seriously if they then proceeded to announce a significant step towards understanding scientific excellency? That’s what Rietveld et al. did and I stand by my former comments.

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