Dumping Data

March 11, 2011

There was a recent discussion at Dr.Becca’s blog about the nervous dance regarding journal status and chances/timing of getting a manuscript accepted.

A comment in the discussion refers to publishing a “technical report”. Given the diversity of disciplines represented on these here Internets, I’m not sure what was intended. I reflect, however, on “Methods” journals. They exist in my subfields of interest. In theory I’m all over this idea of a venue for putting methodological improvements into the lit instead of languishing in lab lore.

In practice, I don’t use them that much. I’d rather just add a bit more methodological support to a regular old article and fend off reviewer complaints about the extra figures.

And then.

Every so often I am asked to review a methods paper for a journal that I’ve barely let register, or have never heard of. And usually the sausage is being sliced pretty dang thin, let me tell you. A couple of figures and a very limited focus. More times than not the thing ends up being published.

When I get that decision update from the editor for some manuscript I’ve reviewed, I always wonder to myself why *I* don’t just shell out similar bits of very limited methodological workup from our various models?