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Just a quick comment on the mea culpa.

It's surely possible, and indeed necessary if you're writing a review 
paper of this type, to follow the citation links to/from the literature 
you're reviewing.  We learn that in graduate school. All of the papers 
that Jamie mentioned are easily found using standard citation search 

The physicists *do* know about this literature, and do not cite it.  Why 
they don't is a matter for speculation, but the fact that they don't is a 
simple fact, and a valid criticism.


  On Sun, 26 Feb 2012, Mason Alexander Porter wrote:

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> First: A big thanks to Barry (as I mentioned to him privately) for posting 
> about my article.
> Second: I hear from the twitterverse that Peter Dodds is planning to weight 
> in on allometric scaling.  I googled and found a JTB paper of his after I 
> 'heard' the rumor (and noted, but haven't yet looked at, his 2010 PRL on the 
> topic), and I think he'll have some very good things to say on the topic.  I 
> will reserve further comment on that until I read what he has to see, but I 
> look forward to the discussion at any rate.
> Third: I want to make a couple of points about James' comment about missing 
> non-physics references (and the small but cynical comment included with it):
> 1. My coauthor and I had to fight with Science a bit to include as many 
> references as we did.  Indeed, the paper is 1/3 of a page longer than is 
> supposed to be true for Perspectives pieces, and a bit of that comes from the 
> extra references.  When commenting on citation practices, please keep those 
> constraints in mind, because authors often do not have full control over such 
> things when it comes to some of the 'shiny' journals (and even other venues). 
> I would prefer a neutral statement of our having missed citations rather than 
> whether or not is surprising or what our motivations might or might not be 
> for not having cited something.  The existing reference listing includes 
> *numerous* papers by people who are not physicists.  That does not mean we 
> didn't miss anything, and it is true we were unaware of your work, a subset 
> of which Jim Moody kindly pointed to me just a day or so after the paper was 
> published.
> 2. Neither my coauthor nor I are physicists.  He is a systems biologist and I 
> am an applied mathematician.  So if you do want to make a point about someone 
> having bad citation practices, then making a dig at physicists is, frankly, 
> picking on the wrong discipline in this case.
> 3. The vast majority of citations to physicists in this particular article 
> are pointing out things that we think they did wrong. :)  If you take a look 
> at who wrote the papers making points that we liked, I think you'll find that 
> most of the articles we did cite on such things were not written by 
> physicists.  Obviously, that does not mean that we didn't miss papers.
> 4. Point (3) said, I'm very glad to now know about your work.  I do *not* 
> purposely ignore things and have on several occasions had very long and very 
> loud fights with both journals and coauthors to include more citations.  So, 
> again, please just make the neutral comment that we didn't cite a relevant 
> work than rather than also including the extra commentary on that, which I 
> resent very deeply given the efforts I undergo to try to give credit where it 
> is due.  Obviously, like everybody else, I will miss references---and I 
> *want* them to be pointed to me afterwards (as you've done).  And I think the 
> people on this list who know me personally will back me up on my sincere 
> efforts on giving credit!
> 5. Thanks for agreeing with us on the scientific aspect of things.  That's 
> always nice. :)
> Excuse me for a bit of a rant, but the idea that one group of people 
> routinely and purposely ignores giving credit where it's due and others don't 
> is something I just don't buy.  I think this is rampant throughout science, 
> including in the disciplines represented on this mailing list.
> -----
> Mason
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Mason A. Porter
> University Lecturer (and Tutorial Fellow, Somerville College)
> Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
> Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
> Homepage:, IM: tepid451
> Blog:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "That's my new excuse, and I'm sticking to it." (Me)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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