Friday, November 28, 2014

Peer review scam

When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems. Read about it in Nature.

I am slightly surprised because editors will not normally contact people with non-academic addresses for reviews, especially if they are suggested by the author. I am an editor for 5 journals and I will either send it to people I know (or interacted with email) or send it to reviewers who have official addresses (basically people who you can look up quickly in google).The peer-review system certainly is imperfect but I think it is still better than self-publishing.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Anand Carlsen

Anand takes on Carlsen for the world championship starting today. Best of luck to Anand !

Games start at 5:30 pm IST. Watch it live !

A preview here.  I wish to see a lot 1.d4 games in the upcoming matches. No more boring Berlins !

Update @9 Nov, 9 pm: A blunder by Anand 34..h5 closes the game. Qd2 may have drawn the game. Guess he completely missed Qb7.

Update @11 Nov, 9:30 pm. Anand proved superior by playing a very theoretical game of the Queen Gambit Declined. The first 20 moves were exactly the same from the Aronian - Adams from Bilbao Grand Slam Final 2013. Aronian played Qe2 and drew. Anand played fxe4 instantly and had the advantage. But the advantage was not much till Carlsen did a mistake with 28...Ba5, which basically lost a bishop. Somehow, I had a feeling that even if Carlsen had not blundered, Anand would have won because he was precise and controlled the c file. I hope Anand plays like this and win.
Was distracted today because Anand missed Qb7 in the previous game

Update @15 Nov, 9 pm. After 26. Kd2?, Anand blundered by not choosing 26... Nxe5 27. Rxg8 Nxc4+ 28. Kd3 Nb2+ 29. Ke2 Rxg8 30. Rxh6. All the moves are forced after Nxe5. Read all about it here. Anand should and hope will prove me wrong but it will be very difficult for him to come back. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have been reading two good books,

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Lessis an excellent book for doing less but accomplishing more. Instead of saying yes and being available all the time constantly checking calls and emails, it is time to prioritize the important things in life. As the book clearly shows that if we do not prioritize, someone else will prioritize for us.

The other book is not about the disciplined pursuit of less, but ending the pursuit of happiness. This is a very grounded book on practice and reality.  Zen or Advaita or any real practice should change our outlook such we have to leave everything just as it is and accept things for what they are. It’s really very simple, but it is extremely hard for us to keep it simple and to let it stay simple.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nature journals

When the nature publishing group first introduced scientific reports, there was a lot of comparison between this journal and PLOS ONE. Both had a similar philosophy: "the journal will not reject papers based on their perceived impact" 

PLOS even welcomed Nature. Both charged the authors a similar fee and many argued why PLOS one was better than scientific reports. As time has progressed, scientific reports has an impact factor of around 5 now while PLOS ONE has decreased to around 3.5. PLOS ONE publishes roughly 100 papers per day.

The nature publishing group has recently converted Nature communications into a completely open access journal. Therefore, if you want to publish there, you just need to pay $5200, roughly what you will pay a project assistant for a year.