Discovered: Martian rock has cousins on Earth; history of rejection brings increased attention to research; x-raying illuminated manuscripts; upsetting news affects men and women differently.
Curiosity finds Martian rock similar to ones found on Earth. Everyone's favorite NASA rover has stumbled on something surprising. When researchers had Curiosity study some random triangular rock, they didn't expect to find that an uncanny similarity to igneous rocks found on Earth. Igneous rocks, typically found on islands like Hawaii and St. Helena, are volcanic in origin. "It was a bit of a surprise, what we found with this rock," says Curiosity scientist Ralf Gellert. "It's igneous ... but it seems to be a new kind of rock type that we encountered on Mars." The rover shot the football sized rock with its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer last month, then examined extracts and the divots left in the stone. The rock is named Jake Matijevic, after an engineer who helped build the rover but died just days after it landed on Mars. [The Guardian]
More attention given to papers with history of rejection. We all love success stories, especially when they involve huge hurdles before getting to the success part. Scientists appear to be no different, according to a survey of the publication history of more than 80,000 research papers. McGill University researchers were able to show that studies with a history of rejection received more citations than those that were published immediately upon submission. The survey encapsulated submissions to 923 journals from 2006 to 2008, and showed that studies rejected by one journal and picked up in another actually drew more attention than those published on "first intent." Vincent Calcagno, who initiated the survey, says, "We think the most likely explanation is that inputs from editors and peer reviewers, and the greater amount of time spent working on resubmissions, makes papers better and improves the citation impact of the final product." The takeaway? Don't despair, struggling scientists! "These results should help authors endure the frustration associated with long resubmission processes and encourage them to take the challenge," the researchers conclude. [McGill University]