Have You Seen This Review?

We recently submitted a structured literature review to a well-ranked journal, and got a review back complaining about how badly our controlled experiment had been carried out. We inquired with the editor about this, but got no answer back. The review (by reviewer 2, no less) is so generic, I suspect it has been used many times before. I’d be curious to hear from you if you received this (same) review in the past.

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Best Practices for Page Numbers in Article Submissions

Should you add page numbers to articles you submit for review? Absolutely. Why? Because it will make it easier for reviewers to comment.

Should you have page numbers in an article you are preparing for submission? Absolutely. Why? Because your coauthors will find it easier to comment. (Not everyone will always be online; I still comment a lot on paper thanks to Deutsche Bahn and Vodafone.)

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Open Sourcing Research Software

In this 15min. video I’ll take you through the basic steps of open sourcing your research software. It covers purpose of open sourcing, the rights situation, license choice, and the actual step of open sourcing.

The slides are also available. Please note that the slides and video contain some simplifications so make sure you resp. your lawyers know what they are doing.

Dear Ph.D. Student: Don’t be Afraid of Prior Art

A first step in a one-person research project in a domain new to a researcher (Ph.D. student) is to read-up on related work. This can be daunting, as sometimes it feels like everything has been done already, and there is nothing new to write a dissertation about. Fear not! With enough digging, the opportunities will present itself.

In software engineering research, the value of past engineering work can be confusing. What does it mean that there is an open source project in which someone implemented something similar to your idea? And even wrote a blog post or report about it? The short answer: This is a golden opportunity for fabulous research and not a threat to your idea.

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The Value of Articles With No Relevance

I’m listening to Lutz Prechelt’s keynote at the German Software Engineering research community conference. He is talking about how we should not be undertaking research that has no relevance, and he is demonstrating this by presenting research based on ludicruous assumptions (that will never be real, not in this nor another world).

Nobody could disagree with this, no?

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Dear Editor [of an Elsevier Journal]

Thank you for the request to review an article.

My usual reviewing fee for Elsevier journals is one full year of free access to your digital library for my university.

However, Elsevier has locked out German universities from accessing research on their websites, including our own. So in addition to my usual fee I must also ask that you return to the negotiating table and find a way that we can access our research again.

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