Thursday, September 13, 2012

I love it when a plan punchline comes together

A little background here: I am co-author of a would-be paper, currently in Peer Review Limbo at a journal which shall remain nameless in order to protect the innocent and comfort the Affleck or however it goes. Reviewer #1 reckons it's a solid paper but wonders why we waste so much space reanalysing the data with these newfangled 'Maximum Likelihood" algorithms when everyone is familiar with the tried-and-true least-squares equivalents. Reviewer #2 sees the manuscript as a missed opportunity, concerning itself with clinical aspects of neurotoxicology when it should be exploring the possibilities of Maximum Likelihood methods at more length, e.g. the chance to calculate confidence contours around the values of parameters using Akaike's Information Criterion, and to compare nested models with differing degrees of freedom.

To count our blessings, at least there is no Reviewer #3. IT'S ALWAYS THE THIRD GODDAMN REVIEWER THAT SCREWS US OVER!

The slow, soul-destroying cycle of revise and resubmit, revise and resubmit is probably inevitable. For a journal specialising in applications the manuscript is top-heavy with abstruse questions of modelling, while it's overloaded with tedious clinical details for a journal about general methodology.

"We are falling between two stools," my co-author lamented in an e-mail.

"Even worse," I wrote back, confident in the knowledge that she cannot thump me all the way from Liverpool. "We are stalling between two fools."

8 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'd like to make a comment, but I have been placed under arrest by one A.K. of the New Zed Citizen's Constabulary.
~

fish said...

We are falling between two stools

Referring to your two reviewers (WHO ONLY HAVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF SCIENCE AT HEART SO SHUT UP) as two piles of fecal matter is not helping.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

fish pities the stool.
~

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Well, that whole peer review thing is a drag, why not hop on the WOO! Express and leave the heartbreak behind?

I look forward to your next non-reviewed paper on the ability of "orb" manipulation to realign chakras for maximum health and manly vigour.

You know you want to "get to the Chopra", so to speak- you 2 can urn big bux!

Another Kiwi said...

Former criminal mastermind, Thundra,shows that rehabilitation is possible to even the worst offenders, and wins the intertubes with his fish/ stool joke.
See, Thundra, that time in the desert in the pink clothes with animal sex-organ soup for dinner everyday has worked. Thankyou Sherrif Joe!!

M. Bouffant said...

Third time's the charm.

I look forward to your next non-reviewed paper on the ability of "orb" manipulation to realign chakras for maximum health and manly vigour.
Osteopath libel!!

Smut Clyde said...

Third time's the charm.

Is this an oblique reference to the Magic Leprechaun Good-luck Amulet sold exclusively from the Riddled Gifte-Shoppe? I will have you know, sir, that it has brought nothing but good luck to everyone who has purchased one. In particular it removes the bad luck of having tigris follow them around poking them with a sharp stick. Sir.

tigris said...

*poke*