[extropy-chat] Elvis Sightings

Ben Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Tue Jan 23 17:46:29 UTC 2007

>> This is not extremely high or anything, but nor is it  
>> disastrously  low;
>> it is higher than plenty of other respectable science journals
> And there is not a doubt in my mind that the reputation of
> "Electroanalytical Chemistry" would be considerably higher if it  
> had not
> published Pons and Fleischmann's article.

That is quite surely wrong, as the reputation is determined largely  
by impact factors, which are statistical in nature and not dependent  
on the reputation of any particular article.

>> Anyway, judging a piece of science by the fame of the journal it's
>> published in is really not very sensible.
> That statement is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous! When I read an  
> article
> in Science or Nature I tend to think it's probably true, even if I  
> have not
> personally duplicated the experiment. I make no such assumption  
> when I read
> in the National Enquirer that a statue of Elvis has been found on  
> Mars.

I was not arguing that trash newspapers are equally valid sources as  
scientific journals, but rather that the impact factor of a  
scientific journal (or fame otherwise measured) is not an extremely  
reliable guide to the long-term importance of the contents of papers  
in the journal.

High-impact journals tend to be trendy as well as high-quality; and  
high-quality research in non-trendy areas often winds up getting  
published in lower-impact journals, yet still has major long-term  

-- Ben G

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list