Science

Hypnotizing the reader into accepting the authors’ conclusions


I just had a quick look at last week’s Nature Genetics Editorial Cause, correlation, conjecture.

[W]e have been struck again by the amount of repetition of claims and arguments in most research articles.

The main claims of the paper are detailed in the title, abstract, introduction, results, figures and discussion as well as in the methods as if to hypnotize the reader into accepting the authors’ conclusions. [My emphasis]

Repetitiveness shows lack of confidence. One more reason to remove it.

And the Nat Gen editors even mention a tool to better structure a paper:

Our recommendation in planning a research paper is to lay out the claims together with the supporting evidence and methods in a three-column table. The rows follow one another logically as one experiment or analysis follows necessarily from its predecessor.

It is unfortunate that the short article doesn’t contain an example of such a table. But I like the idea and might just try it next time we write a paper.

Florian

Cause, correlation, conjecture. Nature Genetics 47, 305(2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3271 http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v47/n4/full/ng.3271.html

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Hypnotizing the reader into accepting the authors’ conclusions

You gotta talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s