#SCICOMM TIP: NEVER CLAIM TO BE THE FIRST TO DO ANYTHING IN SCIENCE

Donna Kridelbaugh

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You see it all the time—in a popular news article about a groundbreaking research study to even the primary literature—that so-and-so researcher is the “first” to make some brand new discovery.

This claim makes me cringe every time I see it. Why? Well to be honest, it’s highly unlikely to be the absolute first at anything with millions of scientists around the world, many of whom are working in similar fields on similar problems.