Beginning November 1, 2010, The Journal of Neuroscience will no longer allow authors to include supplemental material when they submit new manuscripts and will no longer host supplemental material on its web site for those articles.
whew. calm down, DM, calm down. why are they doing it?
Although The Journal, like most journals, currently peer reviews supplemental material, the depth of that review is questionable. Most well qualified reviewers are overburdened with requests to review manuscripts, and many feel that it is too much to ask them to also evaluate supplemental material that can be as extensive as the article itself. It is obvious to editors that most reviewers put far less effort (often no effort) into examining supplemental material. Nevertheless, we certify the supplemental material as having passed peer review.
True, true. A concern to be sure. [stay calm, DM, stay calm...]
Another troubling problem associated with supplemental material is that it encourages excessive demands from reviewers. Increasingly, reviewers insist that authors add further analyses or experiments "in the supplemental material." These additions are invariably subordinate or tangential, but they represent real work for authors and they delay publication. Such requests can be an unjustified burden on authors. In principle, editors can overrule these requests, but this represents additional work for the editors, who may fail to adequately referee this aspect of the review.
Reviewer demands in turn have encouraged authors to respond in a supplemental material arms race. Many authors feel that reviewers have become so demanding they cannot afford to pass up the opportunity to insert any supplemental material that might help immunize them against reviewers' concerns.
w00000t!!!!1111!!!!ELEVEN!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! Damn tootin'!!!!!
Supplemental material also undermines the concept of a self-contained research report by providing a place for critical material to get lost. Methods that are essential for replicating the experiments, analyses that are central to validating the results, and awkward observations are increasingly being relegated to supplemental material. Such material is not supplemental and belongs in the body of the article, but authors can be tempted (or, with some journals, encouraged) to place essential article components in the supplemental material.
OMGWTFRUKidding me?????!!!??? YES!!!! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exactamudo correcto!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Three cheers for the de-GlamourMagification of the Journal of Neuroscience!!
[h/t: Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde for alerting me to this important news]