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You are currently viewing all posts published on April 2016

Your relatives are bacteria

When Charles Darwin’s famous book, “On the Origin of Species,” was published in 1859, it took science and society by storm. Coming on the heels of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, Darwin’s book catalyzed a veritable new industry of trying explaining the natural world, both to good and ill effect (for instance, the idea of evolution gave racists new ammunition in their efforts to discriminate against non-whites). To-date (save…

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Impact factors are stupid

Impact factors are hugely important in journal publishing. Essentially, they determine which journals are more widely read (more “impactful”). Naturally, then, just like the Nielsen ratings in television, they are significant measures because publishing in high impact journals is considered more prestigious, and therefore more valuable for things that matter to researchers like academic tenure and funding opportunities. But what if impact factors were way off? It’s no secret in…

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