Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Maybe the world's shortest published research article

Now and again, I review an article for a journal and my review ends up being quite long. I have joked that the review rivals the article that is being reviewed in word count. This 1974 article by Dennis Upper (Veterans Administration Hospital, Brockton, Massachusetts), published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, actually does fit that bill. It is titled "The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of “writer's block”", and at the risk of copyright violation, I'm going to reproduce the article in full here:
Yes. That's it. You can read it in its entirety at this link, and the reviewers comments at the bottom of the page, which in relative terms are approximately infinitely longer than the paper itself. The paper even has its own Wikipedia entry, which is also infinitely longer than the paper. There are even three replication studies (see here, here, and here). Yes, two of the replications are hidden behind paywalls, which might be the funniest aspect of this whole exercise!

[HT: Matt Roskruge]

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