Video: “Applied Metrology of Small-angle Scattering”

Another video, and this one was a bit sizeable. The video is the majority of the introduction of my talk series for this year. The “Applications of SAXS”-series was part of the same. This introduction touches on a variety of topics, including one thing I have not yet talked to you much about: stripy nanoparticles. The introductory video can be seen at the end of this post (feel free to skip ahead to there). Some of the content has already been explained in more detail in other videos, but are mentioned and/or shown herein as well.

The video opens on a topic that you may remember from early on in this year. The stripy nanoparticle story is one I stumbled across when someone mentioned it on Twitter. An ArXiv preprint of that paper had just become available back then, and created a furore at the post-publication peer review site PubPeer. Since then, the authors suffered a depressing amount of setbacks in trying to get this critical work published.

[ed: The first version of this post said: “The initial plan was to publish in Nature Materials, which was where the original “stripy nanoparticle”-paper was published. However, Nature Materials rejected the concept as they are not interested in publishing a re-analysis of existing work. So much for academic discourse.”. I have been informed that it was never the intention to do this due to previous experiences detailed here, and the sentences have therefore been removed]

Late last year, the paper was submitted to PLOS One, where it received very positive reviews from the referees (which are also available: here). The current status is that a revised version has been accepted for publication in PLOS One, with only one minor problem. Copyright. For details on this problem, I’ll refer you to the excellent posts of Raphaël Lévy and Julian Stirling. Much, much more information on the stripy nanoparticles saga can be found there as well.

Back to Small-angle Scattering. There was a brief discussion of some supplementary small-angle scattering results in the original ArXiv release as well. As I hold some opinions on that particular topic, I wrote to the authors with some suggested changes. These have now been added to the paper, and I am very happy to have also been added to the list of authors (the new version should be available on ArXiv in the coming weeks). I am happy because the whole paper revolves around critical assessments of data, and the Buddha-like goal of being technically correct and aiming for the highest quality. It has also taught me a lot about the darker side of science, on politics and publishing in particular. A good voice on some of the issues can be heard from the aforementioned Julian Stirling, Raphaël Lévy, the ever entertaining Prof. Moriarty, Dave Fernig and David Colquhoun.

Here’s hoping that the copyright issues can be resolved soon. Anyway, the video introducing SAXS is available here. Please enjoy and share!:


  1. Your stripy analysis is not available on the net or in the literature. Please share it. Tree, forest, noise.

  2. You are absolutely correct, Nony. We are working on getting it online on ArXiv. Since it is such a sizeable manuscript, there are some issues with the upload. I’ll post on this blog as soon as it is available!

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