The funny thing about science publications

Yesterday we told you about graduate student Nathaniel Krefman and his colleagues who lightened things up in their lab by producing a humorous video. Today I’d like to bring your attention to a blog post by Samuel Arbesman where he discusses a recent publication in the Journal of Information Science on humor in scientific publications.

Based on the huge number of hits received by the Stickleback video, one would expect that papers with humorous titles would receive more attention and thus more citations. However, it turns out that humorous titles actually yielded lower amounts of citations which the authors propose may be linked to the “serious” nature of scientific publications. I agree with the fact that we all want to be respected and for our work to be taken seriously, but should a fun/light approach to our work really hurt us?

At the American Biotechnologist we always like to have fun! If you have any funny stories or videos please send them along so we can share with others.

For more information see Abersman’s post humor in scientific publications.

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