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Monday, December 08, 2008

Random academic endorsements

We're used to seeing enthusiastic movie blurbs from either obscure or fictional reviewers on the back of DVD's at Blockbuster or Family Video, but this seems to be spreading to the presumably more honest world of academic publications.

This is from the Annals of Improbably Research newsletter.

We stumbled across two book reviews attributed to the "Journal of
the American Stochastic Association." But we have not yet
succeeded in finding any further trace of that journal - or of
the American Stochastic Association.

A review <http://tinyurl.com/58gohh> of J. Michael Steel's book Stochastic Calculus and Financial Applications raves:
"This is one of the most interesting and easiest reads
in the discipline; a gem of a book."

A review <http://tinyurl.com/5gb8ye> of Robert S. Liptser et al.'s two-volume book Statistics of Random Processes raves:
"These two classic volumes are very important resources
for both probabilists and statisticians."

Is or was there a Journal of the American Stochastic Association?
Is or was there an American Stochastic Association?

If you have definite knowledge of the existence or nonexistence
of either entity, please send it (the evidence) here.

Google is now up to 10 references to this journal, but no actual web page for the journal itself.

What we probably have here is sloppiness. There is a Journal of the American Statistical Association, and they seem to have reviewed at least the Liptser book. JASA is a top journal, and a positive review would be a very good thing. Odd that the publisher should undercut it this way (since some of the links showing the bad reference are the publisher's own site).