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Headers for scientific papers

Write up headers and shorten journals with them
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A header of this type could include but would not be limited to:

A standardized set of definitions for ill- defined concepts; A disclaimer about gender-specific pronouns to avoid yet another argument about sexism; A standardized philosophical background from which the document was written; and a description of the rules of grammar used in the document.

This would relieve the world's brightest people of countless hours of arguments over irrelevant petty details.

A possible down side is that papers would become much less lengthy, forcing reviewers to get their heads out of their asses and look at actual merit rather than document length.
Voice, May 21 2011

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       Neither this, nor any other idea, can induce bad reviewers to get their heads out of their asses.   

       You're right, though, that depriving reviewers of trivia to complain about is dangerous, as it might lead to substantive criticism.
mouseposture, May 21 2011
  

       // the world's brightest people of countless hours of arguments over irrelevant petty details. //   

       You're no fun any more.
8th of 7, May 21 2011
  

       That, right there, is a reason why "worlds brightest" and "worlds most successful" are not the same thing.
mouseposture, May 21 2011
  

       [Voice] which discipline are you thinking of here? I'm only familiar with one (molecular biology) and your solutions have variable applicability:

//A standardized set of definitions for ill- defined concepts// In general, there aren't many ill-defined concepts bandied about (IRS2 is IRS2; phosphorylation is phosphorylation) except for statements like "a useful prognostic marker", where "useful" is a bit woolly. Non-standard abbreviations are generally expanded on the first use or, in a few journals, in a table of abbreviations; editors insist on this.
  

       //disclaimer about gender-specific pronouns // Well, I suppose so in some disciplines. Biology papers rarely use "he", "hers" etc except when referring to a specific person who will usually be either male or female.   

       //standardized philosophical background from which the document was written// If you mean "authors should state if they have an axe to grind", then forget it. Of course everyone has an opinion (my data are more reliable than Smith's data), but will claim to be objective. That's what the data is there for, in theory, so you can check their conclusions. If someone has commercial or other clearly relevent interests, there's usually a requirement to state them at the end of the article.   

       // a description of the rules of grammar// If you mean 'grammar' in the normal sense of the word, this is reasonably standardised, and a decent editor will check that it's up to scratch. For example, he would correct elementary mistakes such as putting a capital "A" directly after a semicolon (especially if it were done twice in a row, and used inconsistently).   

       Like I said, I know that the world is very different in other disciplines, but I'm not sure which axe you're grinding here.   

       Can you give an example of what you're trying to prevent with this idea?   

       In the meantime, my condolences on having your paper rejected. I know it stings.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2011
  
      
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