Field of Science

Citations - Scholarly Beans

When you publish in science, you must place your research into context, that is, you must show how your work relates to all other work relevant to your study and findings.  This is no small task and the list of citations in some of TPPs publications runs well upwards of 100.  This is somewhat easier to keep track of now, heck, it's a whole lot easier to keep track of now than at any time in the past.  In the early days of my career we'd spend at least one day a month shifting through a major research library looking for publications of interest, and maybe 2 or 3 days a year looking yourself up in the Science Citation Index.  Now good old Google Scholar not only tells you how many other authors have cited your publications, but how many citations each of your publications has had.  TPP is by no means a major publisher, but as Captain Jack Sparrow pointed out when called the worst pirate I've ever heard of,  "But you have heard of me."  So indeed my modest enough record of scholarship generates something on the average of 50 citations a year, and GS alerts the author to these citations because any publication that cites your work is likely to be a study you yourself are interested in.  When the titles of these publications pop up in the email, it's usually not too hard to guess which of my publications were cited.  Then TPP gets this: Capillary wave propagation during the delamination of graphene by the precursor films in electro-elasto-capillarity.  TPP has no idea what this means at all; the publication is totally opaque to this botanist.  Remember the particular area of expertise we be talking about here is floral biology, pollination, ecology, floral form and function.  Now perhaps someone has TPP confused with someone else.  After all Phactor is a fairly common name.  Actually not, and while still in the dark about its significance to this study, how biological organisms interact with certain physical parameters of the environment, particularly surface tension, was in these authors' opinions important.  TPP must admit a certain grudging respect for anyone who is so thorough in their literature search as to find that connection.  Score one small bean for the counters.

2 comments:

RM said...

Assuming that you're the one flower-related reference on that paper, it looks like you've written about wetting of petals on an aquatic flower.

They then reference that work in the introduction as an example where modifying the wetting behavior of soft substances can have beneficial effects. Which provides part of the rationale for their investigations on the wetting behavior of their not-very-much-like-flowers system.

William Connolley said...

Doesn't this blow your carefully preserved anonymity?

I can even find a pic of you wearing a big hat.

(feel free to delete this if I've blown your cover too much)