Where was this paper published? Who cares!?

By tim, August 21, 2016

One of the things we have been doing before it was cool is to not display very prominently where our papers have been published. If you follow this link, you will see a list of titles, the names of authors, and the date. You will also see links to either the preprint, the version on sci-hub (because not everyone can afford to read papers, although everyone definitely should), and the link to the journal website.

Of all the informations in here, the name of the journal is probably the least relevant piece of information when it comes to deciding whether you should read our papers (and the answer is, of course, yes you should read out stuff). I thought it would be worth it to spend a few words explaining why, on purpose, the journal name is not displayed in a most prominent way.

It is not because we are ashamed of where we publish. It is because we value what we publish so much more: the actual scholarship is the content of the paper.

It is not because we do not value the role of journals, or the role of peer-review. It is because the gain in quality due to the journal and/or peer-review, is often marginal. Journals don’t produce the science, we do.

It is, to be honnest, because we know that there are some people (not you, of course, but other people) that will filter what to read based on where it was published. If there is no journal name to use, the only alternative is to – gasp – read the title of the paper and decide if it’s worth checking out.

There are situations in which the name of the journal is a relevant information. Grants, scholarships, etc; basically all the places where you are likely to encounter people that will judge science based on where it was published and not based on what the paper actually shows. For all other situations, the name of the journal is not what we should care about.

But seriously, the first paper we pass in a glam journal, we’ll let you know so you can read it.