data mining

Herding effects in science

When I was notified recently that a new article on vocal learning had appeared in PLoS ONE, I took a brief look and found the study relevant but not interesting enough to actually read it now. However, I accidentally came across the phrase "Large-Scale Assessment of the Effect of Popularity on the Reliability of Research" - the title of a paper published the same day whose abstract and discussion actually got me interested, since they centred around the relationship between the popularity of research topics and the reliability of the corresponding results. This is related to the issues of (i) multiple testing, familiar to anyone working with statistics, and (ii) measuring research impact - a common subject here as well as on other blogs.