New ideas

Novelty in reviews by Göran Arnqvist: Dr. Pangloss was, I fear, wrong.

I found little to disagree with in the post by Lortie - all very worthy points. I am also very much for placing much emphasis on novelty/creativity/newness. Where we differ, I think, is in the amount of confidence and trust we place upon editors. Having been an editor...

Chasing the white rabbit: novelty as a filter for editors

A recent spotlight paper in Trends in Ecology & Evolution by Goran Arnqvist challenged the notion that editors should use novelty as means to review submissions. This is a very useful contribution to the dialog associated with evolving peer review. It is...

Synthesis in ecology

I am experimenting with PeerJ as a new model to get friendly peer-review in advance of submitting to a journal. Two papers were on my plate - a general synthesis and role of meta-analyses and systematic reviews paper and a more practical paper on how to interpret them...

Data samples & data abstracts alongside Oikos papers

I was wondering what ecofolks thought of this: http://bit.ly/cjlortie2 . Oikos publishing a small data sample alongside each paper (when authors provide). This could be as simple as a small txt file or flat sheet showing the data structure with a few reps. Of course,...

Evolution 2012: facilitated networking

I've talked in the past about how to network at scientific conferences --how to overcome any shyness you might have in order to talk to the people you'd like to talk to. The Evolution 2012 meeting is trying an interesting experiment on this. Poster presenters have been...

Upcoming group blog on Open Data

This is pretty tangential, even for me, but I thought it might be of interest to some readers. Ecology, like many fields (including social science as well as hard science), is seeing a push towards data sharing becoming the norm rather than the exception (e.g., many...

Yet more on the inclusive fitness - kin selection - group selection kerfuffle

If you can't get enough of heavyweight intellectuals arguing about how to think about group selection, Steven Pinker has a lengthy post at The Edge , which has drawn responses from Dan Dennett and David Queller, among others (Queller's response is particularly on point...

Darwin's Origin of Species: notes for your reading group (UPDATED)

I teach a graduate seminar on Darwin's On the Origin of Species . We read and discuss the Origin and some related readings. It's a lot of fun, for me and the students. If you haven't yet read the Origin , or read it when you were too young to fully appreciate it, or...

Rapid evolution of evolutionary biology (and ecology): what's changed since 2005

Over at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense , newly-minted PhD evolutionary biologist David Hembry reflects on the biggest changes in evolutionary biology and ecology since 2005. It's a thoughtful piece, reflecting on some less-noted aspects of widely-noted trends. For...

Take-home messages vs. the devil in the details

As scientists, whether we're reading a paper or listening to a talk, we often focus on the take-home message. The main conclusion. The key point. The bottom line. The gist. The summary. But should we do that? Always? Because the devil is in the details. And not just...

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