Lunchtime Links: When Carelessness Threatens Credibility

By / Oct 8, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Nothing kills credibility faster than poor research and bad fact-checking. Plus: how to work with multiple chapters within your organization.

John Bohannon, detective, scientist, and—apparently—creative author, recently wrote a fake scientific paper and submitted it to several scientific journals. To his surprise, many of them accepted his work. How to maintain your credibility, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Fooled you: Author J.K. Rowling raised more than a few eyebrows recently when she revealed that she was the author behind The Cuckoo’s Calling, the phenomenally successful crime drama she penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Science magazine writer John Bohannon received a similar reaction in the academic community when he announced that he was the real voice behind Ocorrafoo Cobange, an imaginary biologist for the faux Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. Writing as Cobange, Bohannon submitted a phony research paper that was ultimately accepted for publication  by the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals. Bohannon had pulled a similar ruse before—some 304 times—and more than half of his phony submissions were accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. “Any reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted the paper’s shortcomings immediately,” wrote Bohannon in Science. But few of them did. Does your organization produce peer-reviewed journals or other publications? If so, does it have fail-safes in place to ensure credibility?

Seating chart: Inspiration is in the room; it just might require a bit of rearranging to draw it out. Writing for Inc.com, leadership consultants at the Build Network detail findings from a Journal of Consumer Research study that show how seating arrangements influence collaboration. Among the study’s findings: Position chairs in a circular fashion to coax more group collaboration. Want to encourage attendees at your event to take a more active role in breakout sessions? Consider an angular seating arrangement. Have you given any thought to how seating arrangements at your next event might encourage better collaboration?

All together now: If you work at an association or organization with multiple local or regional chapters, you probably know just how tough it can be to get those organizations walking and talking in the same direction. Writing for the Wild Apricot blog, marketing expert Lori Halley highlights five challenges organizations face when trying to steer the goals and meet the needs of multiple chapters. Among her suggestions: Maintain clear lines of communication among the chapters, implement consistent managerial practices, and keep membership data up to date and easy to access. Working in a larger network offers real positive gains to reap.

Does your association have multiple chapters? Share your success stories in the comments.

Emma Beck

Emma Beck is a contributor to Associations Now. More »