Academic Journals In Glass Houses… (Updated)

By Neuroskeptic | April 4, 2015 4:52 am

A psychiatry journal, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD), has just published a remarkable attack on another journal, Frontiers in Psychology. Here’s the piece: it’s by the JNMD’s own Statistics Editor. In it, he writes that:

To be perfectly candid, the reader needs to be informed that the journal that published the Lakens (2013) article, Frontiers in Psychology, is one of an increasing number of journals that charge exorbitant publication fees in exchange for free open access to published articles. Some of the author costs are used to pay reviewers, causing one to question whether the process is always unbiased, as is the desideratum. For further information, the reader is referred to the following Web site:

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Did A Soviet Psychiatrist Discover Autism In 1925?

By Neuroskeptic | April 2, 2015 5:25 am

Who discovered autism? Traditionally, the priority has been ascribed to two psychiatrists, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, who both published independent but remarkably similar descriptions of the syndrome in 1943 – 44 (although Asperger had released a preliminary description in 1938.)
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P-Values and Exploratory Research

By Neuroskeptic | March 31, 2015 3:18 pm

Lately I’ve been talking a lot about the question of whether scientists should preregister their research protocols.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: FixingScience, science, select, Top Posts

The World at 7 PM: A Survey of Everyday Life

By Neuroskeptic | March 28, 2015 8:35 am

In the Journal of Personality, a new study reports on the uniformity of human experience around the globe: The World at 7: Comparing the Experience of Situations Across 20 Countries

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, selfreport, surveys, Top Posts

Neuroskeptic On Bloggingheads

By Neuroskeptic | March 26, 2015 10:28 am

Over at, I’ve been interviewed by John Horgan, science journalist and author of books such as The Undiscovered Mind.


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Can Neuroscience Teach Us About Winemaking?

By Neuroskeptic | March 22, 2015 5:52 am

Modern winemakers may have erred when they switched to producing high alcohol wines. According to a new paper, from Spanish neuroscientists Ram Frost and colleagues, a low alcohol content wine actually produces more brain activity in ‘taste processing’ areas than more alcoholic varieties do.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: drugs, fMRI, neurofetish, science, select, Top Posts

Can Monkeys Get Depressed?

By Neuroskeptic | March 20, 2015 5:19 pm

According to a new study from Chinese neuroscientists Fan Xu and colleagues, some monkeys can experience depression in a similar way to humans.
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Is Science Broken? Let’s Ask Karl Popper

By Neuroskeptic | March 15, 2015 8:51 am

On Tuesday I’ll be speaking at a debate in University College London (UCL) on the topic of “Is Science Broken?” I’ll be arguing that it is.


One of the other people on the panel is UCL neuroscientist Sam Schwarzkopf, who on his (alter ego) Devil’s Neuroscientist blog (DNS) recently argued that science is not broken. He makes several points but here’s the nub:

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To Apply Or Not To Apply For That Grant?

By Neuroskeptic | March 13, 2015 1:05 pm


When should scientists apply for grants? Does spending more time writing applications pay off in the long run? A paper published in PLoS ONE this week examined the eternal question: To apply or not to apply?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, science, select, Top Posts

Debating Models of Preregistration

By Neuroskeptic | March 13, 2015 6:17 am

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Publication Bias Workshop in London, organized by the NC3Rs, a British scientific organization.


The meeting was organized around the question of whether preregistration can be a solution for the problem of publication bias in medical research. I believe that it can, and I’ve been writing about this for several years.

I didn’t speak at the workshop, but the cause of preregistration was amply represented by speakers including Chris Chambers of the journal Cortex and Trish Groves of the BMJ.

However, in the formal debate which concluded the first day, our side lost support in the audience vote by a fair margin. Whereas before the debate, a show of hands showed the great majority of the attendees to be in favor of preregistration, the vote after the debate revealed that many had changed their minds. What happened?

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