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Dog sits on the editorial boards of seven international medical journals (perthnow.com.au)
176 points by apsec112 on May 25, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments

And no one was suspicious when the journal published the article "who's a good boy?"

Animal employment is surprisingly common. IIRC there's a cat in Japan that is a railway station master, another cat serves as a town mayor in America, a monkey was once signal operator for a railroad in India and a physics professor once put his dog on a paper because the editor complained about using the royal we despite there only being one author.

I'll look up sources when I'm not on my phone.

The original railway station master was Tama, who ran Kishi Station for eight years with her assistants Miiko (her mother) and Chibi (her sister).


Before passing on a couple of years ago, Tama trained Nitama to perform her duties, so the station remains in good paws.


The Economist ran a wonderful obituary on Tama when she died in 2015 [1]

[1] - [ http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21656623-tama-station... ]

That really is a wonderful piece of writing, thank you for sharing it!

Outside of ceremonial duties like Tama-chan or the publeash or perish crowd from the OP, many more dogs work as police or military, in roles from combat to bomb-sniffing.

Also: Laika, the cosmonaut https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika

And elsewhere in order Carnivora, an army corporal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojtek_(bear)

On a similar note, there are a number of quotes about various automation setups which will be staffed by a man and a dog: "The man's job is to feed the dog. The dog's job is to bite the man if he touches the controls"

So it is not impossible for a cat to submit a paper to a scientific journal where the editor might be a dog. What a time to be alive.

Don't forget Air Chief Marshal Fufu (1997 - 2015), pet poodle of current king of Thailand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fufu_(dog)

There is also Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nils_Olav

Voters in the US should seriously consider this for the office of US president.

Thank you.

My takeaway is that "fake it 'till you make it" applies to both dogs and journals.

Really, though, the problem here is that the "publish or perish" metric for careers has created demand for willing outlets. It's interesting that this can create circular authenticity, as was the case here. This seems like it also might be a driving factor behind the issues reproducing experiments--things can get published without proper peer review if the journals aren't really in it for the science.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a magic bullet here, since it's a product of a lot of disconnected incentive systems coming together to accidentally create a monster.

I love these stories, although they are not new. See, for example, the renowned painter Pierre Brassau:


"Rolf Anderberg of the Göteborgs-Posten wrote, "Brassau paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with furious fastidiousness. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.""

The problem​ was that Mr. Brassau was a chimpanzee.

Still, we need more dogs like Dr. Olivia Doll, to call mediocre publishing for what it is.

"Arf", she said*

* Frank Zappa lyric

"Dr. Doll refused to comment unless she was taken for walkies."

Taking a stand on principle, even when under criticism. That's leadership material, right there.

I am very disappointed the See Also section didn't contain "List of animals with legitimate diplomas".

It did however contain a link to Non-Human Electoral Candidates [1], which some might think would be just animals. It's not. The best one seems to be a foot powder that won a mayoral election, but it also includes various attempts to run assorted puppets a ficus tre, and various other inanimate objects.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-human_electoral_candidates

This is not the first time this is happening: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090401/full/458557b.html. I know the owner of that dog.

Dr. Doll is amazing. 13/10.

If it wasn't clear already, anyone reading this should be persuaded that journals provide no service. Meanwhile, they hold back real research by putting their publications behind paywalls and charging exorbitant fees for them.

Just as a reminder, we don't have to put up with this. There is an alternative:



"Journals" are not a monolithic category. Some are poorly edited scams meant to defraud researchers who don't know better or who are desperate.

There are also some that are a major source of support for professional organizations.

What kind of support?

All I've heard is that they take free labor and add their brand to it so they can charge to distribute it.

It depends a lot on which discipline are we talking about - a computer science journal is nothing like a biology one.

Having said that, the requirements to publish in a good journal are quite high - reviewers will point out mistakes, demand more data if yours is not convincing enough, point out related literature that you might have missed, and so on. The journal will also check that the reviewers are not simply friends of the author. It can take about a year to get a journal article published.

After seeing some of the stuff that gets submitted (and rejected), I don't feel I can trust research that has not been peer reviewed. A good journal ensures that a minimum standard of quality is met, and that I'm not building my research on lies and fluff pieces.

A few kinds of support:

Non-publishing: Some of these journals provide genuine monetary support for their sponsoring society, which then go to fund travel scholarships, put on conferences, etc.

Publishing: This will depend highly on the field - a lot of people who assert that journals add nothing come from fields where LaTeX is the standard format journals are submitted in, so journals don't do much in the way of formatting.

But this is not all fields. Most of my papers (I'm in a Word-standard field) get page layout, and a page layout I find significantly more pleasant to read than most LaTeX documents.

I've also had my papers get fairly strong copy editing, and I already carefully copy edit my papers. I've seen some other papers that have definitely been much improved by the editorial staff.

In at least one paper, I had a figure redone by them in the journal's style.

I view this in the same territory as the earlier article about Daryl Bem and the replication crisis - scholarly research has bit of housekeeping to do.

"One does not make it this far in a dog-eats-dog world, if one is not willing to bite, the hand that feeds just as well as the competitors and keeps his teeths sunken into the steak until the steak is yours. You cant just sit when told to- you got go out, mark your territory, be allover the competiton. Sometimes you just got to get your paws dirty and do it. You got to get out there, playing the game. Dont be a squirrel. The stick wont fetch itself."

Dr. Wuffet, legendary CEO - the management lectures

Did the dog get fees or at least some treats?

This is funny.... and concerning.

Who's a good boy!!???!!

That's one real argument against remote work I guess.

Why? If the worker's results are up to your standards, who cares if he's a dog?

Apparently humor is dead.

It truly is a dog-eat-dog world.

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