[Computational Complexity] Paper Pet Peeves
Little things that annoy me in research papers.
- Declarative first sentences of the introduction, like "Analyzing Left-Handed 12-SAT is a key approach to solving the P versus NP question." Just because you say it doesn't make it true.
- "We use novel techniques that might be of independent interest." A double faux pas. You don't get to call your own techniques novel. "Might be of independent interest" is such a meaningless statement.
- Footnotes (and parenthetical statements) which interrupt the flow of the paper. If it's not worth mentioning in the text then don't mention it.
- Using citations as nouns like " using techniques of  showed the main result of  follows easily from ." I hate having to keep flipping to and from the references to read these papers.
- Using the cliché "larger than the number of atoms in the known universe." It's big. We get it.
- Using the word "respectively" which says "I'm going to give you something hard to parse because I'm too lazy to write two sentences."
- Titles with symbols or complexity classes: If you can't describe your research with words you might consider becoming a mathematician.
Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 4/12/2005 06:58:00 AM