July 15, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

To blog or not to blog about sexy, but crappy paper from Dr. Famous?

To blog or not to blog?

Sometimes that is the question and a tough one. Keep going or shut it down?

Let’s say that you are a blogger and scientist. I am one of those people wearing both of those hats.

A sexy paper comes out in your field.

It’s all over the Internet and news stories.shut it down, blog threat

Big claims are made.

It’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

When you go to the paper itself, however, you find that in reality it is a totally lame paper. It is very weak and proves nothing of the sort of thing that the authors claimed.

In short, it’s a crappy, pimped up (more on pimping papers here) paper. Some pimped up papers are not crap, but others are and let’s say hypothetically that the paper in question is just flat out no good.

But, you notice another factor: the senior author is very famous and powerful in your field.

What do you do?

  • Blog, but very cautiously pointing out in a very careful manner what the paper does and does not achieve?
  • Blog and say frankly what you believe about it, but without being gratuitous?
  • Blog the hell out of it for the piece of crap it is?
  • Do not blog it all in the name of pragmatism and maintaining a level of political correctness needed to avoid making an enemy?

Take our poll above and indicate what you would do.

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