Field of Science

A Correspondence Arising for Nature

Today I submitted our Correspondence Arising on the Diggle et al. paper I posted about a couple of weeks ago. The delay was because Nature asks authors of such submissions to first send them to the authors of the paper in question, and to include the resulting correspondence (i.e. the emails) with the submission. By requiring this step Nature makes sure that there is a genuine and serious issue being raised by the Correspondence, not just a confusion that can be quickly cleared up.

In our case the authors replied promptly, but their response didn't make the problem go away. Instead it confirmed that we had correctly interpreted their descriptions of what they had done, and that they agreed with us on the immediate causes of the results they had observed. Most importantly, it confirmed that we strongly disagree about the significance of the results.

Here's hoping that Nature thinks this issue sufficiently important to publish. If they do, they will contact the authors directly to solicit a formal response to our submission, and will then publish our submission and any response online (but not in the print version). If they don't I expect we'll hear from them within a few days.

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