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RE: New theropod material from Cretaceous of Brazil
My referrence to poetry was, I think, quite relevant. I've read more than just
a few titles of papers consisting of jokes, quotations, and side-references
without clarification. The abstract often has far more information, but when
you are hitting 1/6 or more of your abstract's length to qualify the title's
use of some nouns, one must begin questioning whether you should leave that
stuff in the abstract, and try for something more artsy in the title. One can
also be rhetorical, use sentence fragments, hanging participles, etc., in order
to create a title whose purpose is to entice, rather than inform -- that is the
abstract's job. If I find myself puzzled at something in the title, then I read
the abstract. If the abstract doesn't inform, I read the poster's discussion,
or attend the talk, or talk to the author(s). Then, if it gets published, I
read the paper.
All of this, of course, is merely reinforcing my opinion that abstracts from
SVP (or frankly any conference proceedings) shouldn't be cited. Ever.
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:38:52 +0200
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: New theropod material from Cretaceous of Brazil
> > It's not just the grammar, but the pointlessness of stating a Brazilian
> > carcharodontosaurid was the first one found from a formation in
> > Brazil. But with your statement in mind, perhaps it's just a case of
> > English not being the authors' first language as opposed to
> > an attempt to artificially increase the importance of their finding.
> > Mickey Mortimer
> No, that can't be it.
> And comparisons to poetry are obviously irrelevant, Jaime. Titles of
> scientific articles should be, and are expected to be, as bluntly clear as
> However, I don't think the authors or the reviewers should be expected to
> know every potentially relevant SVP meeting abstract, especially if it hasn't
> resulted in a publication in so many years. Maybe the very fact that it has
> never led to a publication means it was actually an error?