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RE: So what are the rules about SVP and publishing? Or talking about present...



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Andy Farke wrote-

> I should point out that I don't necessarily *agree* with all of the point=
s I described in a previous email (after all=2C I am involved with the Open=
 Dinosaur Project=2C which is about as far from the current SVP abstract po=
licy as you can possibly get). . .I was just stating some of the reasons gi=
ven. For instance=2C on the issue of high profile publications=2C it's enti=
rely a case of the tail wagging the dog. Much of the "conflict" over SVP ab=
stracts is the result of changing times - the issue of quick dissemination =
of otherwise unpublished results wasn't much of an issue 15 years ago. Prof=
essional societies in many fields are trying to find that balance between t=
he priority of researchers and the needs/wants of other workers to discuss =
the material in a timely manner.
=20
We largely agree then.  Quite ironic that the journals that care most about=
 results being undiscussed prior to publications are not much more than ext=
ended abstracts themselves.

> I still do stand by my concerns about discussing abstracts in any great l=
ength=2C though. In my view of things=2C they are citeable as a place-holde=
r until the full research paper is published. The problem isn't usually wit=
h the abstracts=2C which as Mickey rightly points out are often pretty simi=
lar to the final paper in terms of general conclusions. It's with attempts =
to divine more information out of the abstract than is actually there (alth=
ough Nick Renaud would disagree with me on this issue - we've been having a=
 discussion about this very topic). The other issue is that because abstrac=
ts are not peer reviewed in the same sense that other papers are=2C there a=
re always some crazy ideas that would never make it into print otherwise (d=
inosaur pee traces=2C anyone?). Thankfully=2C most of these abstracts are m=
ercifully forgotten. . .
=20
Divining more information out of the abstract than is actually there?  Hmm=
=2C that doesn't seem like a problem that's more apparent in abstracts than=
 in full papers.  That's basicaly what Peters does with published pterosaur=
 illustrations after all=2C and we've all been guilty of thinking some feat=
ure in an illustration or photograph is real morphology when it's actually =
damage=2C distortion=2C etc..  Perhaps you mean when researchers can take a=
n abstract's conclusions and backtrack to guess the features and arguments =
that probably led to it=2C thus scooping it in a sense?  For example=2C my =
comment on the DML earlier today about Rapator and Nwebasaurus.  Salisbury =
et al. (2007) noted resemblence between these two in an abstract without co=
mment=2C and I happened to notice they both had large proximomedial metacar=
pal I processes.  Is this one reason Salisbury et al. had as well?  Maybe. =
 And I'd agree this sort of thing is an interesting issue with abstracts.
I'm going to disagree with peer review making less crappy published papers =
than crappy abstracts though.  I'll see your dinosaur pee traces and raise =
you a large tyrannosaur head due to elevated holistic expression of anterio=
rness in the nerve-sense pole as opposed to natural selection of random mut=
ations.
=20
> The case of the Limusaurus digital homology post is different from=20
> commentary on abstracts. In this case=2C even though you hadn't seen the=
=20
> original specimen you *had* read the full paper thoroughly. No insult was=
=20
> intended against your work in that regard.
=20
Oh I know.  No insult taken.  I was just putting my money where my mouth is=
=2C noting I would welcome criticism on a topic I'm writing up=2C as oppose=
d to wanting everyone to be quite about it until I've published.
=20
Mickey Mortimer                                           =