Saturday, June 21, 2014


  1. Richard Van Noorden in Nature: Computer model predicts academic success [of biomedical researchers].

    The mantra 'publish or perish' is drilled into every early-career scientist — and for good reason, a computer model suggests. The most important predictor of success for a young biomedical scientist is the number of first-author papers published in journals with high impact factors early in a researcher's career, according to the formula.

    The model, created by computer scientist Lucas Carey, at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and his collaborators, also found that, even correcting for publication records, working at a highly ranked university — and being male — are predictors of academic success.

  2. Tim Harford: The Four Lessons of Happynomics

  3. Kirk Doran and George Borjas in Vox: Which peers matter? The relative impacts of collaborators, colleagues, and competitors.

    Research so far has been inconclusive about the effect of losing and gaining productive peers on one’s own output. This column defines peers in three distinct ways and checks which types of peers matter, focusing on mathematicians shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Losing intellectual competitors results in an increase in one’s output, whereas losing collaborators reduces it. Competition for resources and positive spillovers from high-quality peers are simultaneously at force, explaining the divergent findings in the peer effects literature.

  4. Nicholas Thompson in The New Yorker on Tesla CEO Elon Musk's the decision to open up all his patents.

  5. SMBC on the true significance of commencement speakers.

  6. And, finally, a priceless gem from PhD Comics on whether professors would pass the Turing test. See also: the Professor Turing Test -- Actual Responses from Real Professors.