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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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November 16, 2012

Part Eleven? Really?

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Posted by Derek

And here's another item, sent in by a reader, who noted this publication in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. I have no problem with the work at all, and certainly no problem with the people who did it (some of whom I know), but Part Eleven? I'm trying to figure out why this would be sliced quite so thinly - the only thing that comes to mind is to scatter a wide group of co-authors across several publications, so as to give everyone something on their CV. But how much does a multipart BOMCL count for - heck, while we're on the subject, how much does most any publication count for in today's hiring environment? Update: note that this is not one of those multiyear series things - most of these appear to be in press right now.

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature


1. nord on November 16, 2012 10:32 AM writes...

well I would assume on reading the title that this was the latest in a series of articles that could be spread over a long period of time, 20 years say. Maybe such series are not as common in this day and age as they once were, but surely you must have seen such things before -- stretching to numbers significantly higher than 11 also, no?

ref 1: for part 10, see... bla bla. I don't have access so I don't know whether it says this or not.

And how much is a CVfulsworth of publications worth? I don't know.

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2. Toad on November 16, 2012 10:37 AM writes...

There was a time some years ago that the number of publications was not tied as closely to promotions, etc. My understanding that has changed at BMS in recent times and may be partially linked to such over-production, or rather the chopping of good med chem into little itty bits at a time. Anyone from BMS (current or former) care to comment?

That said, we all know this goes on quite a bit in the literature, but having it labelled Part I, II, ...XI makes it more easily recognized.

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3. Harry on November 16, 2012 10:42 AM writes...

Check out H.C. Brown's series on hydroboration. I think it was up in the high XXX's last time I had occasion to look one up.

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4. Corey_student on November 16, 2012 11:35 AM writes...

The lead author is a huge Spinal Tap fan.

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5. nord on November 16, 2012 11:49 AM writes...

OK -- I take it all back.

One further aspect to consider then would be that the simultaneous publication of multiple articles opens the possibility of multiple mutual citations if the manipulation of a certain other metric that is indeed used in hiring should be the desired result...

as part of our ongoing interest ref: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.... part 10.

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6. homer on November 16, 2012 8:55 PM writes...

I'm laughing because my first full paper was "Part 39" in my boss's long string of marine natural products papers, back in the day. It was quite commonplace back then.

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7. DK37 on November 19, 2012 11:20 AM writes...

Has anyone ever done a statistical analysis of the number of BMCL articles coming out from a med chem department and chemist layoffs from that company? It is probably a chicken vs. the egg coming first situation but with only so many hours in the day - seems to me that taking your time to write multiple articles instead of doing research must impact "scientific" productivity of a department... unless of course it was done at home (likelihood?). A high impact journal paper e.g. on a molecule that went into the clinic is worth at least 20 BMCL's in my opinion...

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