Neuroskeptic Citations

By Neuroskeptic | September 15, 2013 6:25 am

Over the past few months, this blog has been cited twice in peer-reviewed journals: here in a discussion about publication bias in industrial psychology, and again in a paper about publication bias in studies about breakfast.

To cap it off, one of my tweets got quoted in this interesting-looking article about evolutionary psychology:

We need a new scale of standardized effect sizes. d = 0.1 ‘crap’ 0.2 ‘rubbish’ 0.3 ‘meh’ 0.4 ‘not bad’… and so up to d = 2.0 ‘well I’ll be…’ – Tweeted by Neuroskeptic (8 June, 2013)

I’m not the only anonymous neuroblogger who’s getting cited; see also the Neurocritic here and here, for starters.

Compare this to four years ago, when I was extremely excited over being mentioned in the comment section below a paper. Times are changing.

There are two main kinds of citations. The first are used to support a claim, by providing a source for a fact. I don’t think blogs will ever get many citations of this kind, because blogs aren’t typically used as primary sources of observations (although there are a few notable exceptions).

But citations can also be used as a kind of hat-tip, to repay an intellectual ‘debt’ and show that the author is aware of the history of their field. In the humanities, they do this kind of thing very well, but scientists are in my experience very lax about it. We see data as citable, but ideas are for us a common fund that anyone can add to and draw from.

There’s nothing especially wrong with that, but maybe it would encourage scientists to be more thoughtful if they were more often recognized for it. As blogs are now a major forum for ideas in science, I hope that they’ll continue to be acknowledged.

ResearchBlogging.orgMaarten Derksen, & Eric F. Rietzschel (2013). Surveillance Is Not the Answer, and Replication Is Not a Test: Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6 (3), 295-298 DOI: 10.1111/iops.12053

Brown AW, Bohan Brown MM, & Allison DB (2013). Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition PMID: 24004890

Steve Stewart-Williams, & Andrew G. Thomas (2013). The Ape That Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Psychological Inquiry DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2013.823831



No brain. No gain.

About Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.


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