Today on Twitter, the scientists ruled the Internet.  Seems a post-doc named Leigh (a girl scientist! Go figure!) started using the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods to indicate a kind of PostSecret confession about the reality of the methods sections in academic papers.  The thing went, as they say, viral pretty fast.

I joined the fray, as well.  And I’m pleased to say that a couple of mine consistently stayed among the top five tweets in the world, as determined by frequency of re-tweets.

Kinda sad that this is how we measure our self-worth these days.  But whatever.  I’m home, sick in bed, and this is what I did.  So here’s my list of scientifically honest, confessional, overly honest methods sections:


This pointless reference to Jones et al (2006) is included only to satisfy Reviewer 2, who probably wrote it. #overlyhonestmethods


Our results were reported in a series of tables, because bitches love tables #overlyhonestmethods


I’m half-assing this section because this low impact, year old, open access journal will publish just about anything #overlyhonestmethods


The national surveys of India and China were combined because with a large sample size, we can prove whatever we want #overlyhonestmethods


Subjects A, C, and F were excluded because they were fucking up the results we wanted #overlyhonestmethods


Our systematic review employed whatever keywords got us a nice number of studies that were readable. #overlyhonestmethods


We used the methods of Smith et al (2009) because I’m a co-author on that paper and I could use the added citation #overlyhonestmethods


We used theme analysis for our focus group responses because who the fuck understands qualitative research anyway? #overlyhonestmethods


Data were analyzed using SPSS, even though SAS is better, because we have a pirated version of SPSS that doesn’t expire #overlyhonestmethods


REB application was deemed unnecessary because we really didn’t want to do it #overlyhonestmethods


We employed these statistical analyses because they are the ones we actually know how to do #overlyhonestmethods


UPDATE: One of these tweets made it on at least one person’s “top 20 funniest tweets” list!