Re:JBAA papers

Forums General Discussion JBAA papers Re:JBAA papers


Posted by Steve Holmes2 at 14:50 on 2012 Jul 27

I think your parenthesised comment is relevant here – it depends entirely on what the report is reporting. Maybe I should have been a little more precise with my terminology earlier – when referring to a "section report" I was really meaning a report of the summary variety (such as those by Richard McKim I mentioned) rather than of the "new data" variety that you seem to be alluding to. A report on new collections of data leading to the production of new or updated light-curves could well fall into the scientific paper category (much as those by Jeremy and his associates clearly do).The real essence of whether a submission is an article or a paper is, as mentioned in my last post, whether it can be validly peer-reviewed. Peer review is the process by which the technical approach; methods; observations; data collection & reduction techniques, and conclusions of the author(s) can be assessed [and, where relevant, to check that the work reported is not falsified or plagiarised]. It therefore follows that if the submission being refereed does not have all or most of these elements it will be difficult to peer-review it. This is why I find it difficult to concede that "summary-type" reports can be regarded as scientific papers in the fullest sense of the word, and why the many "general interest" articles currently classified as papers are certainly not such.As to whether the Forum is the correct place to be discussing these matters, I did of course think long and hard about this. In the end I decided I should "go public" as I felt it was important to solicit the views of the general membership, as they were likely to have a rather more independent view of things than Council members. Also, I could only write from my own experience so I felt it would be helpful to be able to put this into context. Thirdly, based on the uncompromising replies received during my initial attempts at discussion, I was unconvinced that approaching Council would be worthwhile – this might be called pre-judging the case but by this time I was getting rather frustrated by the lack of dialogue! Lastly, it was suggested to me during these interchanges that I should start a Forum topic on the matter, so eventually I did. Maybe not the correct judgement, but those were my reasons.Steve Holmes