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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Much ado about nothing ...

Pop quiz!  You are the editor of a major scientific journal whose policy is " disseminate concisely-written, high-impact research reports on major scientific advances", with a rapid turn around between receipt of manuscripts and publication so that such results can be communicated rapidly.  In pursuit of the later goal " be a fast-track and high-impact journal ...", your journal has "... a policy of rejecting papers for which major revisions are required to meet the [journal's] criteria of impact, innovation, and timeliness."  You receive an article which one (of two) reviewers considers to be, with minor revision,  a worthwhile low impact paper, but which he deems would require major revision to be a high impact paper.  What do you do?

Roger Pielke Jr thinks that if it is his paper, at least, and if the journal is Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) you should publish!  I think that claim strains credulity.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holmes on Bolt

Johnathon Holmes has an interesting article on the case which discusses why the case succeeded under the racial discrimination act, but would not have succeeded as a defamation action. He writes:

"But – and this is the disturbing part – the judge goes on to find (in par 424):

"Even if I had been satisfied that the section 18C conduct was capable of being fair comment, I would not have been satisfied that it was said or done by Mr Bolt reasonably and in good faith."

Defamation law doesn't require fair comment to be reasonable, as we've seen. It doesn't require it to be 'in good faith'. But the exemptions listed in section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act, including fair comment, only apply to "anything said or done reasonably and in good faith".