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Re: [hackers-il] at which point is code worthy of publication?

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  • Oleg Goldshmidt
    You are looking for a definition of a LPU - least publishable unit. This is a problem that every referee working for a peer-reviewed journal or conference
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 17, 2002
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      You are looking for a definition of a LPU - least publishable
      unit. This is a problem that every referee working for a peer-reviewed
      journal or conference faces. I've done a bit of that and it's
      tough. It's tough, because it is related to another LPU - least
      potential utility - of published papers.

      In the context of your question, it is even tougher because you are
      going to make the decision for your own stuff. You are a rare bird -
      most authors won't even ask the question. Rather, the question most
      authors do ask is "what is the LPU in my field so that I can publish a
      string of papers rather than one, thus lengthening my publication
      list?" (the so-called "salami publishing"). Some prestigious
      publications discourage that, but not all.

      The result in the publishing world is an avalanche of write-only
      papers. I suppose the result in the software world is an avalanche of
      write-only projects or revisions. This should, at some point, put a
      limit to the blind application of the famous "release early, release
      often" rule, good as it is.

      Beyond your own criteria based on your sound common sense (I would
      drop "effort" from the list, leaving "usefulness" and "novelty"), I
      don't have a recipe to offer. Maybe I'll just note something that is
      more pronounced in code than in science: there is a clear distinction
      between "features" (my code does something new) and "bugs" (useful,
      but not new). There are clearly two schools of thought here. One is
      represented by everybody's favourite nemesis, Microsoft, who
      practically went on record saying bug fixes are not important because
      people upgrade only for new features. Thus, in their definition of an
      LPU "novelty" has a high weight. You might disagree.

      I would guess that Googling for "least publishable unit" will yield
      some fun things to read and ponder.

      --
      Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
      ========================================================
      First binary search algorithm - J. Mauchly, 1946
      First correct binary search algorithm - D.H.Lehmer, 1960
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