Would you like to have your own edited paper collection?

One of the biggest problems in peer-reviewed science is editor-bias. So, my answer to Frontiers in Plant Science's nice invitation, even if I would still be in professional science, can only be no!

When dating is futile – plastome-based chronograms for oaks

With most-versatile programmes like BEAST at hand, everyone can do a molecular dating. Which makes it even more important that editors and peers check the priors and reasoning behind it. And always should make sure a palaeobotanist (or at least, a palaeogeographer) is one of the peers.

Soft phishing, and why anyone should know GoogleScholar

I still have a university e-mail address, for fiscal reasons. Hence, I still get what we call in German Initiativbewerbungen, not solicited applications for joining my working group (I never had one) from people in countries not as happy as Austria. And the one or other phishing mail.

Why you never should do a single-species plastid analysis of oaks

The fragmentation of science makes it more and more difficult to keep up scientific standards. Editors struggle harder and harder to find peers who have the knowledge and time to properly review the papers of others. Hence, in even relatively transparent peer-reviewed journals, the same errors are endlessly repeated. For instance: phylogenetic/-biogeographic studies on Chinese oaks using plastid data.

Wer hat Angst vor'm bösen Wolf? Teil 2: Sachsen

In Teil 1 gab es eine kleine Einleitung und das Wahl-O-Mat Netz für die kommende Landtagswahl in Brandenburg. Teil 2 für Sachsen ist interessanter, weil a) viel mehr Parteien mitmachen, und b) die bisher recht staatstragende Sachsen-CDU, eine Partei mit vielen Parallelen zur bayerischen Staatspartei CSU, sich sehr schön in eine polititsche Sackgasse manövriert hat, wie man gut am Wahl-O-Mat Netz sehen kann.

Wer hat Angst vor'm bösen Wolf? Teil 1: Brandenburg

Bei den demnächst anstehenden Landtagswahlen im Osten der Republik scheint es sich nur um eins zu drehen: die selbsternannte „Alternative für Deutschland“. Für den interessierten (Erst-)Wähler gibt es wie immer den Wahl-O-Mat der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) und eine Antwort auf die Frage, wer ist wirklich anti-AfD und wer biedert sich an die rumtrumpelnde Minder- und Biederheit an.

Besser viele Kleine als wenige Große (Teil 2 der EU-Nachlese)

Bei der Wahl zum europäischen Parlament gibt es (noch) in Deutschland keine %-Hürde. Auch wenn man sich generell als Europäer die Frage stellen muß, warum wählt man überhaupt, ist es doch unterhaltsam, vor allem wegen der Vielfalt der Kleinen und Kleinsten. Teil 2 des Vergleichs.

Besser viele Kleine als wenige Große – eine EU-Wahl-Nachlese in zwei Teilen

Bei der Wahl zum europäischen Parlament gibt es (noch) in Deutschland keine %-Hürde. Auch wenn man sich generell als Europäer die Frage stellen muß, warum wählt man überhaupt, ist es doch unterhaltsam, vor allem wegen der Vielfalt der Kleinen und Kleinsten. Ein Vergleich.

Trying to feed my Altmetric badges

A few months ago, I added Altmetric badges to my literature list. Because I like colours, and it's a good way to see which paper needs a tweet, blogpost or else.

#FridayForFuture vs. #SamstagFreibadZumüllen

Eine der wichtigsten Institutionen einer funktionierenden Presselandschaft sind Leserbriefe. Und manche sind einfach zu gut, um sie hinter der Paywall der Lokalpresse verloren gehen zu lassen. Ein Abdruck (mit freundlicher Erlaubnis der Autorin).

Pushy is the new predatory when it comes to scientific publishing

I have to admire how the full, semi- or quasi-predatory publishers never run out of new ideas to lure the needing (stuck in the single-blind peer review), unwitting (younglings who don't know better) or cheating (pseudo-scientists and those on the payroll of e.g. the pharmaceutical or medicinal industry) to their allegedly scientific and peer-reviewed publication platforms.

Spam, spam, spam, spam – is it time for an autobiography?

Another treasure, an offer one can not possibly reject, found in my junk folder. The "Oasis Publishing Group" wants to cherish my "outstanding contribution to the scientific community" with an autobiography.

Lösen die Grünen die SPD als Volkspartei ab?

... fragte die SZ dieser Tage und ludt zur Online-Diskussion ein (powered by Disqus). Mein Kommentar (hier mein Disqus-Profil) wurde dummerweise als "Spam" gekennzeichnet und nicht publiziert (bisher), vermutlich wegen den Links zum Political Compass (non-profit) und unserem Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks blog (wir verdienen auch kein Geld damit; es lebe die algorithmen-gestützte Zensur). Deswegen hier der Volltext (leicht verändert).

The Easter Egg – everyone can (visually) dive into Earth's past

As my first Easter Egg post, I advertised the most important French hebdomaire, weekly newspaper, Le Canard enchainé (lit. the Chained Duck), something you can't find in the virtual world. This year it is something more peculiar, literally a virtual (version of our) world. Well, worlds, the bygone ones.

How to interpret bootstrap values?

A search led me to a question on ResearchGate (RG) issued five years ago: How can I interpret bootstrap values on phylogenetic trees built with maximum likelihood? Quite a bunch people answered it, but, to my mind, only provided easy answers, not the critical ones.

Do you want your own Wikipedia page, too?

Don't you have that feeling from time to time that your life's work is not properly cherished? Politicians that no-one likes get Wikipedia pages, but not you? Well, just hire a professional Wikipedia page editor.

The grey zone between obvious and less obvious scientific crankery

A tweet pointed me to a post with an interesting title "How to spot palaeontological crankery" by Mark Witton which includes (in the second part) "10 Red flags and pointers for spotting crank palaeontology" for non-experts. As an expert, I cannot help but to note that most of the ten points also apply to proper palaeontological science as well.

Peer review transparency reveals scientific provincialism

Recently, my favourite journal (PeerJ), policy and handling-wise, picked a half-rotten apple sharing the fate of other science-before-profit publishing projects such as the Public Library of Science and Frontiers-in: the more people jump into the boat, the higher the chance the peer review fails. But thanks to peer review transparency, we can see why.

There's no need to do what you can't

Modern science thrives on pretention. We can't just publish something interesting, we always feel compelled arguing why it's important and stress its ground-breaking novelty. On the other hand, everyone can use computers, and those computers can do fancy analyses provided you have some data. And they always get it right, so why should editors and reviewers bother about the results?

In Nurses We Trust (and elect the opposite)

I found a new twitter account by the Spectator Index posting funny lists based on polls, studies etc. Such as: how long you have to work to buy a burger. One last week was a Gallup poll asking (U.S.) Americans how they judge the ethics of professionals. A nice piece of unscripted satire.