Saturday, October 16, 2010

Royce Murray and Caveat Emptor

Derek's blog pointed me to an editorial by Royce Murray Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor (doi:10.1021/ac102628p). He is warning us, science scholars, for blogs. He is accusing bloggers for not being scholarly, not checking facts etc.

He did himself and the journal a big disfavor with this editorial: in his blog he does precisely what he is accusing the blogger of: fail to check facts. Even worse, particularly for the 'Analytical Chemistry' journal, he showed inadequate in analyzing the problem, putting his scholarly skills at questionable levels: he failed to see what 'blogging' is and what it is not, and he failed to ascribe his concerns to the proper source; effectively, he failed to see the difference between correlation and cause-effect for 'blogging' (unworthy to any scholar, particularly if you start complaining). I invite Royce to blog his full analysis of the problem, with proper underlying data, facts, etc, so that I (and others) can explain to him the true factors involved in this problem he is noticing.

The editorial is a sad piece, and an editorial unworthy for the journal.

Actually, the fact that he mentions the Impact Factor is amusing. It must be noted that his editorial will have a huge impact, but not because the writing is any good, but because it is utterly wrong. And that reflects only one thing that is wrong with impact factors.

I strongly suggest Royce to checks his facts before he starts writing. The ethics expressed in the editorial seems only to apply to other scholars.

I you wonder about my strong language. That was triggered by these words from the editorial: In the above light, I believe that the current phenomenon of “bloggers” should be of serious concern to scientists. I consider myself a blogger, not unreasonable giving the fact that I blog, and feel personally attacked. Hence, the title of this post: Royce Murray and Caveat Emptor.
Murray R (2010). Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor. Analytical chemistry PMID: 20939598