When I started my PI career, my first cover letter to a glamour journal emphatically pointed out that my cutting-edge, ground-breaking work was the first and firstest to do X.
Feedback from senior colleagues was: “Drop that blech! Better say what your insight into X actually is, and in what way it is profound.” — Good advice. Because novelty is overrated, insight rules.
How should novelty be valued in science? Not exclusively.
So I wasn’t too surprised how Barak Cohen answered the question “How should novelty be valued in science?” in the last issue of eLife. I would never put a question mark into a title, if the answer is so clear: