Spare a thought for Reviewer 2, that much-maligned shade of academe. There’s even a hashtag dedicated to the joke: A rare glimpse of reviewer 2, seen here in their natural habitat — Aidan McGlynn (@AidanMcGlynn) January 15, 2017 But is it just a joke? Order could easily matter here. Referees invited later weren’t the editor’s first choice, after all. Maybe they’re less competent, less likely to appreciate your brilliant insights as an author.... Read more

Last time we saw why accuracy-mavens prefer Brier distance to Euclidean distance. But we did everything in two dimensions. That’s fine for a coin toss, with only two possibilities. But what if there are three doors and one of them has a prize behind it?? Don’t panic! Today we’re going to verify that Brier distance is still a proper way of measuring inaccuracy, even when there are more than two possibilities.... Read more

Does an author’s gender affect the fate of their submission to an academic journal? It’s a big question, even if we restrict ourselves to philosophy journals. But we can make a start by using Ergo as one data-point. I’ll examine two questions: Question 1: Does gender affect the decision rendered at Ergo? Are men more likely to have their papers accepted, for example? Question 2: Does gender affect time-to-decision at Ergo?... Read more

Last time we saw that Euclidean distance is an “unstable” way of measuring inaccuracy. Given one assignment of probabilities, you’ll expect some other assignment to be more accurate (unless the first assignment is either perfectly certain or perfectly uncertain). That’s why accuraticians don’t use good ol’ Euclidean distance. Instead they use… well, there are lots of alternatives. But the closest thing to a standard one is Brier distance: the square of Euclidean distance.... Read more

In an earlier post we saw that Mondays and Thursdays are good for editors, at least at Ergo. Potential referees say yes more often when invited on these days. But why? Mondays aren’t too puzzling. It’s the start of a new week, so people are fresh, and maybe just a little deluded about how productive the coming week will prove to be. But Thursdays? They don’t seem especially special. I tried speculating a priori about what might be going on there.... Read more

If you’ve bumped into the accuracy framework before, you’ve probably seen a diagram like this one: The vertices $(1,0)$ and $(0,1)$ represent two possibilities, whether a coin lands heads or tails in this example. According to the laws of probability, the probability of heads and of tails must add up to $1$, like $.3 + .7$ or $.5 + .5$. So the diagonal line connecting the two vertices covers all the possible probability assignments… $(0,1)$, $(.... Read more

Finding willing referees is one of the biggest challenges for a journal editor. Are referees more willing some days of the week than others? Apparently they are, on Mondays… and Thursdays, for some reason. At least, that’s how things have gone at Ergo the last couple years (2015 and 2016). Data Consider the “bounce rate” for a given day of the week: the portion of invites sent on that day that end up being declined (bounce rate = #declined / #invited).... Read more

I chose Hugo to manage this site mainly because it’s shiny and new. But there were some substantive reasons, too. Hugo is famously fast—really fast—but that wasn’t the big draw for me. For a personal website, even one with many years’ worth of blogging accrued, Hugo’s speed just isn’t that important. Quoth the Code Barbarian: being the fastest static site generator is like being the resturaunt with the cleanest bathroom: sure, I prefer a faster generator, but I wouldn’t pick one generator over another because one shaves off 100ms.... Read more

I can’t abide OS X’s built-in—too janky by half. So like any reasonable obssessive, I use iTerm2. Now, RStudio helpfully provides a menu item for opening a shell in the current project’s directory. But it calls, with no option to substitue an alternative. R-bloggers has a helpful post about this. But it’s from way back in the dark ages (January 2014), and the solution there doesn’t seem to work any more thanks to changes in iTerm.... Read more

For years I lovingly hand-coded my personal website. The ethos was pure, the product normcore: a single page, packed with links to my academic papers and other projects, all lightly seasoned with a sprinkle of explanatory text. I scoffed at the polished and capacious WordPress sites of my colleagues. “A navbar? With four sections?? Does that link to a PDF of your CV really need a whole page to itself?”... Read more