Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

An Information Theoretic Approach to Originality and Bias in Science

Version 1 : Received: 9 February 2020 / Approved: 10 February 2020 / Online: 10 February 2020 (03:55:18 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Fluctuation and Noise Letters, Vol. 19, 2050034 (2020) Fluctuation and Noise Letters, Vol. 19, 2050034 (2020)


We introduce an information theoretic framework for a quantitative measure of originality to model the impact of various classes of biases, errors and error corrections on scientific research. Some of the open problems are also outlined.


originality; information entropy; bias; political correctness; errors; error correction


Computer Science and Mathematics, Information Systems

Comments (5)

Comment 1
Received: 15 May 2020
Commenter: Tamas Erdelyi
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.

  • I do not claim co-authorship of this manuscript. My name as a co-author should be removed from this paper.
    + Respond to this comment
    Comment 2
    Received: 17 May 2020
    The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
    Comment: Tamas,

    We are sorry that you did not say this wish of yours during the publication process, when you were in the loop and was shown various revisions of the Paper. Moreover, even though a small part, the Lakatos reference and the few words about it originate from you, thus you have non-zero contribution to it.

    If you have any concrete claim that something is invalid in our paper, you are encouraged to publish a comment about it. That is totally OK as science is growing via debates. Then we will respond accordingly.

    But, so far, you have not come forward with any scientific claim against the paper. We are looking forward to see that...

    + Respond to this comment
    Response 1 to Comment 2
    Received: 8 July 2020
    Commenter: Tamas Erdelyi
    The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
    Comment: I have never imagined that the author would rush to publish this note in a few days. I have no idea why he insists on keeping my name on his note. I have not signed anything allowing him to use my name as a coauthor. I only recall to tell him several times that I did not want to be a coauthor of his paper. I ask the author to remove my name from his paper if he can solve this problem. Why is this so difficult?
    Comment 3
    Received: 10 July 2020
    The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
    Comment: The two email conversations below show that:

    1. The Editor in Chief of FNL (the journal where the paper was published) states that Dr. Tamas Erdelyi's request cannot be fulfilled because his recorded active involvement with the galley proof of the paper proves that he knew about the paper and was actively involved with its publication. He encourages Dr. Erdelyi to publish a comment if he disagrees with any part of the scientific content of the paper.
    Note, the paper was published here:

    2. The email records of Dr. Erdelyi's active involvement with the galley proof of the paper before publication.

    1. Email from the Editor in Chief of FNL:

    >Subject: RE: [External] Re: T3 follow up >Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2020 09:16:59 +0000 >From: McClintock, Peter >To: Miroslav M. Begovic >CC: Chanan Singh , ,
    > > Dear Professor Begovic, > > Professor Kish has cc-ed me into your correspondence and asked me for an opinion in my role as Editor-in-Chief of FNL. As I understand it, one of his co-authors of a paper published in FNL has asked, post-publication, for his name to be removed from the author list.
    > > In general, this cannot be done. What happened, happened; and no journal should feel free to re-write history on the whim of any individual, whether or not they are an author. > > That said, one must obviously consider the case where a researcher comes across a paper published in their name, of which they had no knowledge, which they do not wish to endorse or take credit for, and from which they wish to dissociate themselves. If such a case were to occur – and frankly it is beyond my experience – then I would indeed be in favour of action of some kind by the journal. Publication of an erratum would perhaps be best way forward in such cases, as this avoids falsifying the history.
    > > But the present case is quite different. As I understand it, the complainant was well aware of the paper while it was in preparation, and even submitted proof corrections. The requests for removal of their name were initiated a few weeks after publication.
    > > So, in the absence of other information, I conclude that the complaint is void, in addition to being eccentric and somewhat vexatious, and that no action on the part of FNL is merited. > > If the complainant wishes to submit a scientific Comment on their own paper, we will of course take it seriously, get it professionally refereed, and accept it for publication if appropriate. > > Yours sincerely, > Peter McClintock. > Editor-in-Chief of Fluctuation & Noise Letters
    2. Below are the galley proof emails, containing Dr. Erdelyi's request to put the Hungarian accents on his own name and on the name of Alfred Renyi. This fact proves that he knew about the publication and was actively involved with making it to happen:

    >Subject: Re: Fwd: FNL Vol 19 No 2 (June 2020) - 1st Reading >Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 21:01:24 -0600 (CST) >From: Tamas Erdelyi >To: Laszlo Kish >CC: Chanan Singh > >Laszlo, > > you wrote once that in the published version accents could be > used to write names like Erdelyi and Renyi correctly. > > On page 2, line 27: "m(" should be "m (". > >Thanks, >Tamas > > >>On Fri, 21 Feb 2020, Laszlo Kish wrote: >> >> Chanan and Tamas, >> >> The galley proof of the T3 paper has arrived and it needs urgent action. >> >> If you do not have any problem in the attached paper, I will fix and send the attached version to the published tomorrow (Saturday morning).
    >> >> thanks/regards, >> Laszlo >
    + Respond to this comment
    Comment 4
    Received: 13 September 2020
    Commenter: Tamas Erdelyi
    The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
    Comment: In my view the whole project of Kish is a fraud. No mathematician has a chance to contribute to it as Kish gives no definitions in his letter. I do not even understand what he calls "open problems" in his letter. I have nothing to do with Kish's paper and Kish knows it. I have reported the fraud to the department heads at Texas A&M.
    + Respond to this comment

    We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our Diversity statement.

    Leave a public comment
    Send a private comment to the author(s)
    * All users must log in before leaving a comment
    Views 0
    Downloads 0
    Comments 5
    Metrics 0

    Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
    We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
    Read more about our cookies here.