Copy Pasta | by Brian Koberlein



12 July 2014

One thing is amiss within the universe. There seems to be an infinite deficit of ultraviolet gentle within the cosmic funds.

Or, so I’m instructed. I used to be requested by a couple of readers a few new examine displaying there may be much less gentle within the universe than anticipated. They heard of this from varied articles displaying up on the internet. Like this one on Phys Org, or this one from the College of Colorado Boulder, or the authentic press launch from the Carnegie Institute for Science. That single phrase seems on greater than 4,000 pages in response to Google. Principally copied from the unique press launch, and most of them making no reference to the precise analysis article.

In researching the work, I additionally discovered “It’s as for those who’re in a giant, brightly lit room, however you go searching and see only some 40-watt lightbulbs” as one of many authors was quoted. That quote reveals up on almost 400 web sites, together with Common Mechanics, IFLScience, Forbes Journal and The Day by day Mail. Time and again, the identical tweaked variations of the press launch. Copy pasta after copy pasta.

Copy, Paste, Repeat.
Copy, Paste, Repeat.

I understand that is how a lot of science journalism is finished. Web sites are funded by web page views, and for that you just want a number of content material. Press releases are a simple supply of content material, and can be utilized both outright, or tweaked to suit your wants. Sadly press releases are designed to place the work in the very best gentle, and infrequently over state the influence of the analysis. Those that have been following me additionally know this may lead to tons and tons of misconceptions.

Actually, any web site that’s fascinated with truly speaking science can do higher. A number of do. Any web site that thinks in any other case ought to speak to me or some other scientist who writes about their analysis subject. There’s no have to resort to repeat pasta journalism.

By the best way, the precise journal article is cited under. It’s behind a paywall, however you’ll be able to learn the arxiv model right here. I’ll in all probability write about it within the close to future, however not right now.

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