Overly honest research methods

Alison in Wonderland, Observant, Maastricht

Lying about your research methods to get a journal article published? Not okay. Telling the whole truth? Probably not your best option either. Twitter geeks will have noticed last week the explosion of tweets under the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods. Here are some things you DON’T want in your manuscript: ‘Samples were incubated for exactly two hours, unless it was a Friday afternoon’; ‘Figure 2 shows a typical plot of the data, by which I mean the prettiest one’; and ‘We are unsure how the results were obtained, because the postdoc who did the work has since left to start a bakery.’ And my personal favourite: ‘The wrong reagent was used for experiments 1 and 2 because my adviser has an Australian accent and I misunderstood.’

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