What we're reading: Coevolutionary diversification, replication, archiving, and the real trouble with "luxury" journals

2011 NUC Christmas Tree 6
In the journals
Althoff DM, KA Segraves, MTJ Johnson. 2013. Testing for coevolutionary diversification: linking pattern with process. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.11.003.

In this review, we highlight potential mechanisms of coevolutionary diversification, outline approaches to examine this process across temporal scales, and propose a set of minimal requirements for demonstrating coevolutionary diversification.

Vines TH, AYK Albert, RL Andrew, F Débarre, DG Bock, MT Franklin, KJ Gilbert, J-S Moore, S Renaut, DJ Rennison 2013. The availability of research data declines rapidly with article age. Current Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.014.

For papers where the authors gave the status of their data, the odds of a data set being extant fell by 17% per year. In addition, the odds that we could find a working e-mail address for the first, last, or corresponding author fell by 7% per year.

See also coverage by The American Scientist, Science Insider, and Nature News.
In the news
“The deal represents a step in the right direction, but a small one.” — How the new U.S. budget deal will affect research funding.
“… if it really takes a year for a study to be reproduced, if your finding is that fragile, this is something that researchers should know about right away from reading the article.” — Formal replication is hard, but it’s still important.
“… a mandatory data archiving policy was much more effective than either recommending archiving or having no policy at all.” — The American Scientist covers Tim’s research on data archiving.
“The secret for sane use is to use Excel only for data entry; any data manipulation … or analysis is done in statistical software.” — When it actually makes sense to use Microsoft Excel.
“Goofus says, ‘George Price published a paper in Nature. He must be really smart. And I am smart because I have smartly recognized his smartness.'” — Jon F. Wilkins on the recent dustup about “luxury” journals.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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