The kiss of death

In connection with an earlier post, where I strongly defended the current format for Read Papers at the Royal Statistical Society, I am urging all members of the Society to reply to the consultation launched by the Society in order to oppose (if they feel like me!) the proposed change! Moving to Read Papers that are handled by the regular editor(s) of Series B (or even by a special editor) would be the “kiss of death” for the Read Papers series… Indeed, it would turn Read Papers into discussion papers already found in other journals like Statistical Science or Bayesian Analysis, while loosing the extended editorship through the involvement of the Research Committee. To imagine that reducing the amount of attention paid to the paper would lead to “more read papers on a wider range of topics” is wishful thinking in my opinion, because it would increase the variability in the quality of the Read Papers

4 Responses to “The kiss of death”

  1. [...] Given that the lecture room was occupied by a fund raising event, it reflects poorly on the priorities of the society. Anyhow, Mark Girolami gave two great talks where the geometric intuition was [...]

  2. X:

    Of course, we have slightly different preferences in research. But you’re misreading my comment! I’m not saying that Jasa, Statistical Science, and other journals are like each other. What I’m saying is that it is unfortunate that JRSS-b discussions and Biometrika papers are limited to such a narrow area of theoretical (and, in recent years, computational) statistics. I think a slightly broader range of topics would be good. JRSS-b and Biometrika both have the strength that they publish crisp clean papers; I just think they would be much improved if they escaped a bit from their conventional set of topics.

    I wouldn’t even bother making this suggestion for a journal such as Annals of Statistics. With very rare exceptions, the papers in that journal are extremely theoretical and are pretty much irrelevant to statistics as I understand it. In contrast, JRSS-b and Biometrika are close enough to being useful to me that I’d appreciate a bit more breadth.

  3. X: I see your point, but on the whole I’ve been unsatisfied with the RSS discussion papers, compared to discussion papers in other statistics journals. My impression is that most of the RSS discussion papers fall into a pretty narrow range of fairly conventional math/stat topics. Not always, but mostly. I have a similar problem with the (non-discussion) papers at Biometrika. For both journals, I see a kind of group-think that puts a strong and unfortunate bound on what is considered serious research. In contrast, I think the discussion papers at JASA, Statistical Science, and other journals seem to be a bit more broad in their range. So maybe it wouldn’t be so bad for the Royal Statistical Society to shake things up a bit.

    P.S. All those hyperlinks make the blog entry hard to read. Perhaps this is a software setting you could turn off?

    • Ah, you are actually if involuntarily supporting my point! Why would we want to loose the specificity of journals like JRSS B and Biometrika to make them look like other journals?! Both journals represent a niche not occupied by either more theoretical journals like the Annals, Bernoulli and Mathematical Methods of Statistics or broader journals like JASA, Statistical Science, Statistica Sinica and many others. They publish papers that are (mostly) exactly in my window of interest and (almost surely) of the highest quality… My first title was “Ain’t broken, ain’t fix it!” in the sense that I do not want a change towards a more neutral or even broader range!

      P.S. I do not realise most of the problems with the blog output, sorry! What is the bad side effect of the hyperlinks?

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