On Reading Old Things


On Reading Old Things is a great article by Jacquelyn Gill. All graduate students should read this article. At the beginning of this semester I assigned a reading by Gautier et al.(1980) and remember feeling a little embarrassed that the article, which is about satellite technology, was so old. Despite its age, however, the article is excellent and forms the basis of the satellite technology which we use to obtain the current hourly and daily solar radiation in the northern Caribbean. I could list other examples of old articles that are foundational and which should be read by anybody working in those fields. Gill mentions, and I have personally observed, that some journal reviewers sometime pressure authors to use recently published references and discourage older ones. Another practice that I have observed is that a journal will require that at least three references in the paper be from their journal. The reason for this of course is to jack up the rating of their journal, since they are rated on the number of times that their articles are cited. Anyhow, I highly recommend that you read On Reading Old Things.

From Gautier, C., G. R. Diak, and S. Masse, 1980: A simple physical model to estimate incident solar radiation at the surface from GOES satellite data. J. Appl. Meteor., 19, 1007–1012.

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