Re: Yet More Nicholls vs Morgan

Phil. Felton (
Fri, 13 Jan 1995 07:55:51 GMT

In article <3eu08r$>, (Phil
Nicholls) wrote:

> In article <>,
> Phillip Bigelow <> wrote:
> > (Phil Nicholls) writes:
> >
> >Phil Nicholls, responding to Elaine Morgan and her book, writes:
> >
> >>In _Scars of Evolution_ you cite in the notes to chapter 4 an
> >>article by Pete Wheeler which appears in the Journal of Human
> >>Evolution, 1985 volume 14 (Your citation places it in volume 42,
> >>which does not currently exist for the Journal of Human
> >>Evolution. You also have the wrong page numbers).
> >
> > If Morgan had bothered to send her work in for peer-review, it is
> >probable that these mistakes may have been caught. As it stands, there are
> >a few possible explainations for this error:
> > 1) Morgan never really read the source material.
> > 2) Morgan made a mistake in transcribing the reference.
> > 3) Morgan's book editor wouldn't know the difference between a correct
> >reference and a incorrect reference.
> >
> >#3 is often the case with books that are not peer-reviewed.
> >
> > There are many advantages to publishing in science journals. The only
> >down-side is that there is no financial profit for the author.
> > <pb>
> >
> Actually I have found errors in citations in peer reviewed articles as
> well. Editors check for obvious errors and in this case they might have
> caught this one because the volume and pages are the same as those in
> the article listed immediately above it.
> My interest in pointing out this error are (1) It can be corrected
> in the next edition of her book and in future books (I use a bibliographic
> database to keep track of references and if you enter the data incorrectly
> it comes out incorrectly) and (2) to note that in the same volume there
> were additional articles discussing sweating and hairlessness. Most
> likely Elaine got the article in the form of a reprint by writing directly
> to Wheeler so she missed these articles. I try not to use reprints
> for this very reason -- going to the journals is a good way to stumble
> across other interesting materials.

I frequently come across errors in the bibliographies of papers which I
review but my impression is that this is an area which doesn't get reviewed
as carefully because unless you know the paper personally it takes a lot
of work to check out all the references.