Re: Fwd: [asa] The Swift-Boating of Judge Jones

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Dec 15 2006 - 18:52:07 EST

On 12/15/06, Bill Hamilton <> wrote:
> --- PvM <> wrote:
> > Interesting, in science most of these practices seem to be frowned
> > upon. Perhaps biology and other 'hard' sciences have different views
> > on this.
> My experience is primarily with the engineering literature, although more
> recently I've had occasion to read some of the literature on Darwin's finches.
> Of course, publishing the exact same paper in two or more places is frowned
> upon in engineering. However, you will frequently see quite similar papers,
> the differences being the examples, or sometimes improved analysis. The author
> publishes, then new results seem wirth reporting, or he improves his theory.
> The result is a paper that is very similar to the original, but (hopefully)
> contains enough new information to be worth making available to the research
> community.

The criteria for publication of scientific papers (Articles and
Letters) in Nature are that they:

* report original scientific research (the main results and
conclusions must not have been published or submitted elsewhere)
* are of outstanding scientific importance
* reach a conclusion of interest to an interdisciplinary readership.

I recall during the '80s a series of papers published by Paul Penfield
calculating the delay of RC trees. I was involved with this in my work
so I did detailed study of all of these papers and they were dead
identical. He basically got the same paper in the Second Caltech VLSI
Conference, IEEE Procedings on CAD, and the 18th Design Automation
Conference. It was a running joke at work as this was considered very
bad form.

From all I can tell whether the science was hard, soft, or applied
publishing the same paper in multiple venues is frowned upon. In the
case of the Penfield paper(s) it was groundbreaking work (cited 348
times in Google Scholar) and even there it raised eyebrows.

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Received on Fri, 15 Dec 2006 16:52:07 -0700

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