Re: Validation of posted archives

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 08:08:13 -0500

on Thu, 22 Mar 2001 Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 06:18:42PM -0500, Albert Henderson wrote:
> > In short, I would not be so sure that LANL's service is not
> > "filled with rubbish."
> It takes some chutzpah for an outsider to speculate that established,
> self-respecting authors are writing rubbish. Indeed there is no good
> reason to speculate at all, since it's all out in the open. For example
> here are the 19 articles (+ 5 cross-listings) in the geometric topology
> category in the math arXiv in February:
> Which ones are "rubbish"? The one by Alexander Dranishnikov? The two
> by Stavros Garoufalidis and Jerome Levine? The one by Hugh Morton?
> I know these people. Whatever shortcoming of their work you have in
> mind, I'd be happy to let them know.

        Time will tell. All papers can't be wonderful. In the classic
        article on the value of comprehensive reviews, Conyers Herring
        reported his study of published articles in solid state physics.
        Only half retained value after 5 years. Some were found to be
        in error or duplicating other work. Other studies of the
        literature report similar results. A task force at McGill
        rejected the majority of studies it reviewed as bad science.
        There is a distribution of quality in every field, of course --
        a social phenomenon.

        Take heart. Herring recognized, "the literature is not all garbage:
        There is a lot of gold." He also pointed out that primary papers
        can be distilled to a 10th of their original bulk in reviews.
        PHYSICS TODAY 21,9:27-33 Sept 1968
        Best wishes,

Albert Henderson
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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