Cats and Dogs – a deep divide, including languages

Rumour has it that there is a fundamental difference between cats and dogs. Linguistically, it’s quite obvious.

Springer Nature is delivering open access. Will you join us? Don't!

Springer Nature sais thank you But, yes, of course, since we must. Who’s to be credited? Springer Nature or the public paying for it? Too much, and largely ignorant of doing so.

Online proofing, a service to authors (stakeholders) or shareholders?

Elsevier (RELX) and Springer-Nature, two of the maximum profit science publishers, have introduced online proofing as a service to facilitate the work of us unpaid authors and avoid errors. They say. Naturally, it’s not true.

French and German – the sound (and meaning) of two important words

To German ears, French is a beautifully sounding language. Same seems to hold for the English and Italian (although Vanda got more excited when hearing Russian, but she was American…) So, let’s compare two important words.

Wählerwanderung Niedersachsenwahl: Gevatter Tod wieder vorne mit dabei

Wie auch schon zur Bundestagswahl, ein paar Infografiken zur vermutlichen Wählerwanderung bei der vorgezogenen Landtagswahl in Niedersachsen.

The Kraken awakes – Elsevier increases pressure on ResearchGate (through the backdoor)

Just got the message. Elsevier and the American Chemical Society start pursuing ResearchGate to force them to clean the uploaded PDFs for those that should not be there. Naturally using a backdoor, a German Landesgericht (regional court).

Rechtsruck in Österreich, aber nicht in Niedersachsen?

Zwei Zwergstaaten haben gewählt, und die Zeitungen sind voll mit „Rechtsruck“ in dem einem (Österreich, ~ 8.7 Mio Einwohner). In Niedersachsen (c. 7.9 Mio Einwohner) blieb er aus, oder? Ein Vergleich.

What I was not allowed to show #1: A neighbour-net of seed plants

Even as a professional scientist, I always put a lot of effort in enhancing the graphics of our papers. In some cases, the mighty Wizards of the Forest of Review appreciated the effort, but most didn’t bother. In some cases, the circumstances forced me to dump some pretty nice graphs. In this series of posts, I’ll show what has been lost because of the Impermeable Fog, or because my co-authors were vary it might wake dogs and more evil things lurking in the Forest of Review.

How not to make a phylogeographic study

A citation alert pointed me to the paper of Zhang et al. (2017) to be published in Tree Genetics & Genomes, a failed attempt to make a biogeographic study on a small Ulmaceae genus: Zelkova. The severe concerns raised by at least one peer (not me) were largely ignored by the authors and the editor, providing us with a paper that managed to combine the most important pitfalls in (plant) biogeographic studies.

What happens if you try to disperse the Impermeable Fog

Why do bad papers get published in proper journals? Well, mainly because the Impermeable Fog, known as review confidentiality, obscures the entire decision process and ensures no-one can be made responsible. Like in the case of the recently published (pseudo-)phylogeographic study by Zhang et al. (2017) in Tree Genetics & Genomes.