Why We Habitually Engage in Null-Hypothesis Significance Testing…

You should head over to PLOS to read this paper by Jonah Stunt et al. It’s the first qualitative study I’ve come across at PLOS, but it’s definitely worth a read to better understand why we’re still surrounded by p-values.

One thing I missed in the paper is a hint that we don’t have to engage in frequentists null-hypothesis significance testing. I realize that the authors are interested in the sociology of science here, but we have plenty of statements in the article how difficult it’d be to learn about alternative methods. It doesn’t have to be: We do have packages like rstanarm or software like JASP that do not leave much room for such excuses.

Stunt, Jonah, Leonie van Grootel, Lex Bouter, David Trafimow, Trynke Hoekstra, and Michiel de Boer. 2021. “Why We Habitually Engage in Null-Hypothesis Significance Testing: A Qualitative Study.” PLOS ONE 16(10):e0258330. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258330.

Support for their Hypothesis…

I’m just going through some reviewer comments on a paper I have no stake in at all, and came across this gem:

The study finds support in favour of their hypothesis.

This was highlighted as a key strength of the study. Let’s not quibble about hypotheses here, but let’s focus on the explicit value for a “positive” result. This matters, because it’s peer review, and it’s the standards we have as reviewers that shape what gets published (and where). This focus on positive results does not help us move forward with actually understanding what’s going on — but then a cynic would see a quite different role for publications anyway.

Honorary Membership to Encourage Submission to Predatory Journal?

Wow, I’ve just been awarded a random honorary membership… to entice me to submit to a predatory journal? I don’t think so.

I mean it had everything going for, a membership of a journal (!), a membership number(!), and even an expiration date (obviously they weren’t that impressed to only offer a single quarter). I could identify two past honoraries… Shame I never heard of the journal, or the publisher, and shame it’s listed on this funny page here: https://predatoryjournals.com/publishers/ — because they also offer some great benefits, like “Indexing: In all relevant organizations”, an “artificial intelligence” 3rd reviewer which can (I quote) “can detect writing styles, plagiarism (for the second time), grammar, contextual spellings, vocabulary, and quality of the article without any human biasing” (?!). All this on top of priority during reviewing.

Seriously: https://thinkchecksubmit.org/