星期四, 2月 16, 2006

What is research all about

Here is an old joke about academic research papers.


(1)" It has long been known "
= I didn't look up the original reference.

(2) " A definite trend is evident "
= These data are practically meaningless.

(3)" Of great theoretical and practical importance "
= Interesting to me.

(4) " While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions "
= An unsuccessful experiment but I still have to get it published.

(5) " Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study "
= The results of the others didn't make any sense.

(6) " Typical results are shown "
= The best results are shown.

(7) " These results will be shown in a subsequent report "
= I might get around to this sometime if I'm pushed.

(8) " The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones "
= He was my graduate assistant.

(9) " It is believed that "
= I think

(10) " It is generally believed that "
= A couple of other guys think so ,too.

(11) " It is clear that much additional work will be required before completely understanding occurs "
= I don't understand it.

(12) " Correct within an order of magnitude "
= Wrong

(13) " It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigations in this field "
= This is a lousy paper, but so are all the others on this miserable topic.

(14) " Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experiment and to George Frink for valuable assistance "
= Blotz did the work and Frink explained to me what it meant.

(15) " A careful analysis of obtainable data "
= Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.