Introducing "The Nine Circles of Scientific Hell" — a real figure in a real scientific journal

Meet the latest front-runner in the ongoing battle over the title of "Most Amusing Figure to Appear in a Peer-Reviewed Journal."


This figure is the only figure in an article entitled "The Nine Circles of Scientific Hell" — an article that seeks to "take a humorous look at the fate that awaits scientists who sin against best practice," and was just published in Perspectives on Psychological Science. To be fair, the article is supposed to be funny, so whether it can official contend for the Most Amusing title with journal figures from more "serious" academic papers is up for debate; but this paper is notable for another reason. Check out who wrote it:

Neuroskeptic! As in, Neuroskeptic the inimitable neuroscience blogger. To his knowledge, he writes on his blog, he has just become the first blogger ever to publish in a peer-reviewed academic journal under a blogging pseudonym. "Now as historic achievements go, this is fairly niche," he writes, "but I do think it's important." He continues:

Most of the problems with the way science works today are problems of communication. We're trying to do 21st century work with a 19th century publishing model, and the cracks are showing.

Academic papers are a fine way of presenting the final results of research - they're here to stay. But scientists ought to be communicating (with each other and with the public) in many other ways as well, and I think that anything we can do to break down the hegemony of the 'final paper' - whether it be blogging, arxiv, the Open Science Framework or raw data sharing - is a step forward.


A humorous journal figure with a message? Yes. More of this, please.

Read the full article, free of charge, over at Perspectives on Psychological Science. And if you're unfamiliar with it, do yourself a favor and check out Neuroskeptic's blog. A good place to start: the blog post from 2010 that this newly published paper is based on.


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