In our last issue, chemist James Collman of Stanford University took us to task for listing a controversial paper on a new theory of superconductivity in our Hot Papers section (see his letter in The Scientist, February 6, 1989, page 11).

The paper in question, by Yuejin Guo, Jean-Marc Langlois, and William A. Goddard of the California Institute of Technology ("Electronic structure and valence-bond band structure of cuprate superconducting materials," Science, volume 239, number 4842, pages 896-9, 19 February 1988), Collman noted, "has been roundly criticized, [which] perhaps accounts for the extensive citation." He asserted that "excessive citation of a scientific article may not be a commendation, but rather a condemnation."

Perhaps we have not made it clear enough what the Hot Papers section represents. We identify a paper as "hot" after we have determined that it has received many more citations than others of the same type...

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