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Re: [AUDITORY] arXiv web of trust

Has anyone has been following the LK-99 research in motion event which recently gripped the world? I think it is a great example of fantastic science and research in motion.

Researchers go through the process of scientific induction to generate a hypothesis. In most science, hypotheses can't be proven but can certainly be dis-proven.

In the case of LK-99 we can assume that the researchers tested their output to the best of their abilities. I assume they tested their output to the best of their abilities. They then released their research to pre-print servers to get it into other researcher's hands. They notify everyone using social media. Their research is so significant that it creates a buzz.

Other independent researchers around the world immediately begin replicating their research, because their papers were clear enough on how to implement their research. Pre-print servers and social media were again used to release independent validation efforts on the LK-99 material. Other research institutions which have different techniques, equipment and capabilities then pushed the research beyond what the original group from South Korea were capable of.

Within two weeks the outcomes of this research was settled and the wold now understands LK-99 better. Beyond this, the world is now now more interested in superconductors and science.

If we follow the line of science it must go something like this :

The original researcher uses scientific induction to implement a hypothesis. Hypotheses aren't easy to prove but can certainly be disproven. Rapid validation efforts and sophisticated methods were used globally by independent groups to see if they could replicate the original pre-print research. Indeed, a large number of these institutions were able to implement and disprove certain conjectures in the research. The end result was a disproof (at this point I assume it LK-99 was disproven to be a superconductor) of a hypothesis.

Now I'm not saying that good research and outcomes don't happen through peer reviewed journals, but I am saying that in the case LK-99, peer reviewed journals were not in the picture and we experienced rapid hard science.

What a fantastic example of hard science in motion.


On 24/5/23 17:41, Brian FG Katz wrote:

I think there is a dangerous misnomer using the term pre-print, vs post-print.

Pre-print is an unreviewed un-published work, only submitted elsewhere for consideration. It has no more reference value than a blog, and maybe should be re-termed as such. Any results are therefore to be taken with a grain of salt, as with many conference papers which lack any significant review process.

While rapid sharing of one’s work may have interest, serious peer-review acceptance is rarely a question of typo or minor errors, more typically involving revisions to analysis regularly requiring (significant) changes to the manuscript, or even identification of protocol errors hindering publication of the work due to invalid results.

I will not enter into the discussion of cost and compensation, as this varies greatly between journals and organisations. However, I would remain on the side of the need for serious peer-review.


Brian FG Katz, Research Director, CNRS

Groupe Lutheries - Acoustique – Musique

Sorbonne Université, CNRS, UMR 7190, Institut Jean Le Rond ∂'Alembert


On Tue, 23 May 2023 at 12:15, Matt Flax <flatmax@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

    Is anyone publishing on arXiv at the moment ? It seems that to
    there they rely on a web of trust.

    There is an Audio and Speech section of arXiv which would suit our