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Re: Abstracts, evidence, and disappointment

Mickey Rowe wrote-

> I fear that Mr. Mortimer is, as he wrote, being naive if I'm correctly
> interpreting the tone of his message.  >snip< However, it seems to me
grossly unfair for
> HP Mortimer to cast aspersions on the intentions of abstract authors
> when he hasn't yet been through the process of preparing for a
> conference presentation.  >snip< HP Wagner is right to throw suspicion on
> abstracts.  HP Mortimer is wrong to suggest that this is because
> abstract authors aren't doing their damnedest to ensure accuracy and
> validity
> In any case, an abstract should be treated as snapshot of a
> scientist's work in progress, not an end product.

My message really should have been interpreted as a sarcastic take on the
most extreme of Jonathan's opinions.  I certainly do think authors check
their abstracts for accuracy as closely as I hypothetically would.  I'm
sorry for the direction and tone this post has taken on.  This is what
happens when a post deviates too far from it's original intent (new research
often shows supposedly indeterminate taxa are valid)- you end up argueing
for a view you have very little actual knowledge of and have really never
thought about before.  I am still new to this field, am unfamiliar with the
abstract/paper submission process and therefore am probably wrong regarding
many of my assumptions.  I agree with Mickey that abstracts are works in
progress, not final products.  I also think this is true regarding actual
articles, but to a lesser extent.  I also think abstracts are scientifically
useful, as much as personal communication is at least.  I'll be sure to note
that abstracts' conclusions should be taken very preliminarily in the
future, but will continue to site them when they contain otherwise
unpublished information.

Mickey Mortimer