Tuesday, April 12, 2011

P: Peer Review

v. The system by which members of a conference's program committee get to advocate for their previous work in the field to be referenced in your paper through whining and vague threats (e.g., "I do not see how we can accept this paper if the authors have not even referenced the recent work by Schnitzel and Wakkofson.").

Origin: In medieval times, it was believed that peer review implied some correctness about the methodology and/or results in a conference paper. Such myths were readily dispelled by a thousand graduate students' accepted conference papers (generated by a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters) filled with, at best, poor science. More recently Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption also showed the fallacy of said argument. None the less, a study recently published in the Journal of International Science Meme-ology (JISM) shows that 82% of mammalian subjects still accept peer review as a suitable method for weeding out "bad" science. (Note that this percentage was lower among whales as they are clearly smarter than the rest of us.)

Sample sentence: It doesn't matter that my thesis chapter is making a specious argument based entirely on irrelevant data -- it was published at a peer reviewed conference last year!

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