Remember when it was possible to publish a four-part series on one "complete study"? https://t.co/f4wNgpl4lK
— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) December 8, 2015
— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) December 9, 2015
Per usual, I throw out some observation or random remembrance and then it nags at me.
I come to the realization that perhaps the kids these days actually genuinely have no idea that there is/was/can be a better way.
Like when I remind you that Science and Nature "papers" were once barely more than abstracts. With a single figure, maybe two. And that the real followup paper was in another journal. Seriously, look back in the early 70s, maybe into the 1980s. The issues are available for your perusal.
This is another example. Two cases in which the same group published (or at least prepared to publish) at least four different papers from a single project. In the first case, it looks like the same three authors were on all four, they put it in the same journal and the first authors swapped on one. In the second case, the author list was more diverse and there were three different journals. (Interestingly, report III seems to be missing. I wonder what happened there? But still, the group published several other papers around the same time and on the same rough idea- perhaps one of those was supposed to be the III article?)
This sort of thing reinforces my criticism of the way Glamour Humping has done bad things to science and careers while not really providing anything more than a sham of the "complete story" in exchange.
If you want to publish several manuscripts on a topic, with different unshared unique first-author and last-author slots, it is possible. You get to throw up far more than a single published manuscripts' limited number of figures. You can elaborate on side themes. Nothing gets hidden from view in the Supplemental Materials. And presumably the speed by which some of the story emerges in published form is enhanced. Which permits other people to see and use the information earlier.
It was possible once. It is possible again.