Last Monday, Lounge of the Lab Lemming posted his version of a unique party game for scientists. The reference checking drinking game relies on our use of inconsistent and gratuitous references in scientific publications. Players are instructed to review their manuscript and either sip, chug or drain the bottle depending on the number of referential follies that are found. Faux pas include: inconsistent abbreviations, missing references and referenced papers that have never actually been read.
One of my favorite comments on Lounge’s post is by Anonymous who said that a colleague of his needed to cite a paper that he liked but he only had the names of the authors and the title but not the pages. After trying in vain to look for the page numbers he finally gave up and cited fictitious page number. Anonymous writes that “this was initially a bit of an embarrassment, but then these fictional page numbers kept turning up in other papers for years after … ” What a hoot!
If you chose to play this game today, be forewarned. It is a drinking game and today is Monday. We are scientists and we like to have fun, but if your manuscript is anything like my thesis you might be drunk before you finish reading the introduction.
Perhaps a safer way to play the game is to share it with one of your lab-mates as seen in the video below!