Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

TL;DR: We can detect individuals with a high probability of being involved in milling papers. The question is: how should we respond? A few years ago, my bike was stolen. It was an organised job. The thieves arrived after dark, cut a hefty lock clean off, and my bike disappeared silently forever. I imagined it dismantled and sold off into some vast black market network. Poor bike. The police admitted that they weren’t going to do anything.

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

TL;DR: the rate of Papermill Alarm alerts is significantly higher in gold OA content than it is in subscription content. If you’re concerned about papermills, Clear Skies offers the Papermill Alarm: the world’s leading papermill detection tool. Get in touch for a demo. I’m a big believer in Open Science.

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

So, we’ve established that papermills like to use templates. We see templates in referee reports and in the text of cookie-cutter research papers. There’s an important insight here: Templates are used in legit academic behaviour as well as in industrial research fraud. So we need to be careful — we can’t assume that templates are necessarily a sign of research fraud.

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

There’s this phrase used by some technologists: ‘epistemic security’. Epistemic security has to do with things like the spreading of misinformation on social media. I.e. if we spend enough time on social media reading unreliable information, how does that influence us? That’s a matter of epistemic security. Epistemic security is interesting because if you start a conversation about epistemic security at a party, they don’t invite you back.

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

TL;DR: peer-review times appear to have been growing for a long time. The effects of COVID-lockdowns on peer-review are surprising. A few months ago, I was invited to referee a research paper. So, I guess the editor thought that I was one of the 2 best people in the entire world to review this thing. That’s how it works, right? Flattered, I flagged the editor’s email to signal its importance and I got straight to work!

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

This is Ralph. How tall is Ralph? It seems simple, you could just hold a ruler up to the screen. But when you look at the ruler and use it to measure Ralph, are you actually measuring Ralph , or are you measuring the ruler and using that as a proxy ? How accurate is your measurement? Are you including fur in the measurement? What if Ralph were to stand on his hind legs, like a mighty bear — how tall would he be then?

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

There’s a quote attributed to Ernest Rutherford: “That which is not measurable is not science. That which is not physics is stamp collecting”. I think his point was that a lot of scientific work is just documenting things. In Rutherford’s day, there was a lot of exciting new creative work happening in physics, so perhaps physics seemed special to him.

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

Recently, I gave a presentation on the APIs for Papermill Detection offered by Clear Skies Ltd. I also touch on a newer service called the Clear Skies Standard Report. More on that in future posts… :) Here’s the video: https://medium.com/media/ee5a04aaed9fc53d2748e64516178ebe/href Would you like to know more?

Published in Stories by Adam Day on Medium
Author Adam Day

Also… what is an API? The Papermill Alarm API, is a service which you can send some article metadata to and which will return an alert telling you if the paper looks like past papermill-products. Anyone can use it, but it definitely helps to have the support of an IT or data professional.