Fascinating data on SfN meeting participation from 2001-2006 is available as a paper placed on arXiv.

An analysis of the abstracts presented at the annual meetings of the Society for Neuroscience from 2001 to 2006

Authors: J. M. Lin, J. W. Bohland, P. Andrews, G. Burns, C. B. Allen, P. P. Mitra

I will always have to reference this as the place I picked up the concept that “we need to practice scientific birth control” in discussion of uninterrupted growth in the neuroscience community.

Other tidbits:

  • 60% of abstract authors only attend a single meeting in the surveyed interval.
  • average of 4.3 authors per abstract
  • La Jolla is in the top ten in each year- Represent!
  • no correlation between SfN attendance and NIH budget
  • six degrees (actually 6.09) of separation confirmed for neuroscientists
  • NIH ICs generally get what they pay for

A reader dropped the blog an email note which, among other things, was interested in a discussion of the concept of “least publishable unit”or LPU.

Apparently this concept is popular enough that Wikipedia has an entry on the “LPU“:

In academic publishing, the least publishable unit (LPU) is the smallest amount of information that can generate a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The term is often used as a joking, ironic, or sometimes derogatory reference to the strategy of pursuing the greatest quantity of publications at the expense of their quality. … There is no consensus among academics about whether people should seek to make their publications least publishable units.

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