Three things caught-up my attention in the last month: a blog-post on p-value misconception, a review article on Critical Zone, and an article on co-authorship. Here are the links:
- “Paper craft” by Budker & Kimball (published in Nature, DOI:10.1038/nj7586-427a)
- “Still not significant” by Matthew Hankins in his blog Probable Error
- “Hydrological partitioning in the critical zone: Recent advances and opportunities for developing transferable understanding of water cycle dynamics” by Brooks et al. (published in Water Resources Research,
The “Paper craft” is a nice and short guide on how to handle writing a paper with others. This kind of articles are especially valuable for PhD students, or anyone else, who’s dealing with collaborations and co-authorship for first time. Eventually, we all learn from experience how to handle co-authorship, but it would have been so much better if I read this article before I started working on my first paper few years back.
The “Still not significant” is serious, but actually extremely entertaining blog-post. It is not new, so I wonder how I didn’t come across it earlier. It presents a quite exhaustive list with expressions describing not-significant results, as if they may actually be slightly significant. The list includes gems as: “a slight slide towards significance (p<0.20)”, “almost approached significance (p=0.065)”, “approaching formal significance (p=0.1052)”. Another interesting blog-post on statistical significance is “Marginally Significant”, which is on the use of “marginally significant” and graphing it.
On the Critical Zone review: lately I quite enjoy to read opinion pieces on the future (or the present) of hydrology. This review is actually trying to outline some research questions linking various fields into what’s now critical zone science. More specifically, it tries to link three subdisciplines of hydrology: catchment hydrology and hydrochemistry, hydrogeology, and ecohydrology. Here is also a quote giving a nice definition of the hydrologic science nowadays:
“Over the last several decades, however, hydrology has begun to expand from relatively narrow or applied foci to become an integrative discipline linking civil and environmental engineering, ecohydrology, physiological ecology, biogeochemistry, geology, soil science, atmospheric science, and climatology” (Brooks et al. 2015)
What was most useful to me was to get a summary of promising questions for further research, so I’m going to copy-paste these here (Brooks et al. 2015):
[acc_item title=”Key questions for catchment hydrology and hydrochemistry research”]
- Where, how much, and for how long is water stored in the subsurface?
- How do catchments release large amounts of this water quickly?
- How does Critical Zone structure control and inform these hydrological characteristics?
[acc_item title=”Key questions in hydrogeology“]
- When and where does groundwater reside in the subsurface?
- How are its dynamics related to other aspects of CZ structure?
[acc_item title=”Key questions in ecohydrology“]
- Where do plants get their water?
- Where on the landscape is evapotranspiration supply versus demand limited?
- How are these characteristics related to CZ structure?
NOTE: everything in green is a direct quote from the paper, the figure & the figure caption are also from the paper