Read the full post at Dynamic Ecology.
I hereby challenge you to help me redesign the scientific paper through a process called “Collaborative Independent Review”. But if you’ve already comfortable writing the traditional scientific paper, you’re probably not going to like it.
If you don’t like it, blame Andy Dobson. When Andy invited me to write a chapter for the new book Unsolved Problems in Ecology (Dobson, Holt and Tilman eds., PUP – check it out), he figured I would write about how everyone should think about parasites as much as I do. But I had been reading blog posts on Dynamic Ecology about how we do business as Ecologists (which means you can blame Jeremy, Brian and Meghan too). This got me more worried about ecologists than parasites. I became convinced we could get more return on investment in Ecology through better training programs, funding distribution, synthesis, publication models, and evaluation metrics. And so I wrote a chapter on A Science Business Model for Answering Important Questions. While writing, I kept remembering a 1979 paper called Ecology: A science and a religion, where one of my heroes, Paul Dayton, predicted that ecologists’ increasing focus on conservation would begin to undermine their scientific objectivity. This led me to add a section about reproducibility, which is what Jeremy asked me to blog about. Lots has been said about reproducibility in other disciplines, but I wondered if re-visioning how we write papers and how journals publish them was the key for ecology.