Saturday, February 12, 2011


When I'm still kind of an outsider in academia, I'd like to record things I think about the research world. Mostly so that I can look back later and see what I think now, but also in case there's something I could work to change, or some way I should act to avoid getting caught up in a big groupthink.

I'm spurred by posts like this one. Daniel Lemire says that the following problems exist:
1. People write irrelevant papers because of incentives to publish.
2. Important papers have errors.
3. Nobody ever fixes those papers.
To solve these, he proposes maintaining papers like we maintain open-source projects.

Sounds good. Particularly because the structure of information is moving from static chunks (books, magazine articles) to streams (blogs, podcasts, twitters), and I'm not sure if the research world can change to accommodate this shift.

In the ideal world, there'd be no incentive to publish; you could publish if you want, and if you have something worth publishing. Otherwise (and also), you could keep a blog, and talk about ongoing projects instead of 8-page chunks.

I'd like to stay in this mode. I'd like to keep blogging here as I research, keep a wiki page up to date, and not worry about whether I can publish a particular paper or not. I'll keep you posted (hah!).

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