Wednesday 25 May 2011

Scientific communication: the Comment option

1. Think of something interesting to say

2. Hit the link saying ‘comment’.

3. Find you have to register. Enter first name, surname, title, job description, qualifiations, place of work, phone number, fax number, address.

4. Spend several minutes looking for England, then Great Britain on the drop-down list, before hitting on United Kingdom. Press enter, while wondering how often someone from Azerbaijan makes a comment.

4. Back to step 3 because failed to enter a zip code in the correct format.

5. Realise that the special security software that was installed to prevent unauthorised access to the computer has barred interaction with the site, and everything you have entered has been lost.

6. Select ‘allow this site’ in the security software.

7. Back to step 3.

8. Select a password.

9. Retype the password.

10. Retyped password fails to match password. Back to step 8.

11. Hooray! All entered.

12. Try to log in. System tells you someone with this email address has already registered with a different password.

13. Alarm husband with sudden outburst of profanities and table thumping.

14. Try to guess password.

15. Fail.

16. Loop back to step 14 several times.

17. Request new password.

18. Open email to look for message re new password.

19. No sign of email re password. Get distracted by other emails. Ponder on why as a neuropsychologist have been invited to contribute an article to Journal of Plant Membranes.

20. Delete messages with header ‘Dear Friend in Christ’. Don’t they realise I’m an atheist?

21. Password message appears in Inbox.

22. Back to login screen.

23. Login, only to find there is a saved password already.

24. Use of saved password gives error message.

25. Relogin with new password. Yes!

26. Search for original site for comments. Can’t find it.

27. Back to twitter to find the address of the original article that I wanted to comment on.

28. Find the article.

29. Hit the comment button.

30. Now what was it I wanted to say?


  1. LOL!! this should be registration for dummies.

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  2. Replies
    1. The connections that you make early in your career will take you far. After 20 years it is still true for me. This has been true regarding companies I worked for and those I worked with. All you have written is excellent advice.

  3. Dorothy, you should be a Saturday Night Live writer! That's why I hardly ever comment, but you make it irresistable!

    1. The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum.

  4. You missed a couple of steps:

    20a: Discover that password reminder email was blocked by spam filter

    20b: Unblock password reminder email address

    20c: Request password reminder again

  5. I also have just been painfully reminded of the loop you can get into in a site that has the Captcha option to determine if you are human.
    Yes, I'm human, but my eyes and brain can't cope with fuzzy letters placed over one another.

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