Will APL Materials publish the research on LK-99 ?
Basic
102
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resolved Jan 1
Resolved
NO

Lee Seok-bae, CEO of the Quantum Energy Institute, is in the process of publishing his thesis in 'APL Materials', an academic journal published by the American Physical Society .

Will the LK-99 article pass peer review and be published by APL Materials before the end of the year ?

The article should be published in the APL website https://pubs.aip.org/aip/apm

If the article is retracted later that still counts as YES as long as it was published before 2024.

In particular, If the article is published but does not claim LK-99 to be superconductive or claims it to not be superconductive, that still counts as YES

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There was an article about LK-99 published by APL in October, which claims LK-99 is an insulator and not a superconductor, however as far as I can tell, none of the authors of the published article were part of the original QEI team, so this will resolve NO.

predicted NO

Dec issue is out

predicted NO

Reminder: there is ZERO evidence this will happen, through the entire timeline start to finish, except one report in Korean which mentions a very early APL claim by one of the researchers, who had a typo on the journal name. This claim happened before the paper was examined closely and dismissed by mainstream science.

That's IT. We have heard NOTHING else about this claim from any first party source, ever.

Researchers are still 100% mia

6% profit available over 6 weeks

predicted NO

Oh, it is out. No mention of lk99 https://pubs.aip.org/aip/apm/issue/11/11

Half the probability space just vaporized boys

predicted NO

Interesting, it looks like APL has some kind of continuous featured article release process. Just now I went there and saw an article published today, Nov 2 even though the Nov issue isn't out yet.

@Ernie Ya almost every journal just puts articles online as soon as they’re accepted these days

predicted NO

@Odoacre is this open long enough for the January issue to come out? I'm not sure when it's released exactly. If not, it will effectively be over one way or the other when the Dec 23 issue comes out.

@Ernie the end date of this market will not change.

I've made a 2024 version for you though:

/Odoacre/will-apl-materials-publish-the-rese-2d03cdcf7d81

predicted NO

the 10/2023 issue is out, w/out mention of LK-99, in 8 articles.

Last year's article count:

  • October 2022: 14

  • November 2022: 20

  • December 2022: 8

predicted NO

15 of the top 20 YES holders only use manifold to bet YES in pro-LK-99 markets. Most are relatively inactive, although some have responded to the recent price drop here.

predicted NO

Hey YES holders. Curious to get your response to my earlier comments about the lack of real evidence for this claim. All I could find after looking in wikipedia and asking manifold's discord LK-99 channel was the two articles in Korean, from late July 2023, where someone from QERC claims they're submitting the paper to APL and working with them (articles contain a typo of the Journal name in the original Korean)

That's IT. AFAIK there is NO other evidence this will happen.

Do you have other evidence? Or, given that the claim is from so long ago, BEFORE the entire world spent a week investigating, and then completely giving up on LK-99, do you think that QERC's original plan will still happen? If I was the editors of APL, I would have seriously reconsidered any paper in progress, in light of the large number of refutations and open claims that the LK-99 paper had incorrect claims. I would at a minimum make it much harder to publish such a paper.

Again, if there is evidence I've missed, please send it; I could be wrong.

@Ernie I bought some YES at 9% and just sold, but I think there's a possibility it's published, just not in a form that strongly claims superconductivity. APL will have a ton of eyes on the paper if it comes out, so they might not be incentivized to outright reject.

@BenjaminShindel for instance, Nature still published another article from Ranga Dias after his first one was retracted! Peer review is a bad system and stuff gets through regardless of its veracity.

predicted NO

@BenjaminShindel Do you think that APL is still talking to the researchers? Is there anything I've missed? All I saw was a typo-d claim by someone from QERC that he was working with APL to publish it, from before they were debunked, with no further update, on a Korean reddit-like site.

My default for this is that nothing is going on and it was just hot air, or very quickly disappeared as soon as LK-99 hit big and was denounced by Nature. Unless APL has some special reason to publish non-replications, or articles of historical interest.

@Ernie peer review can take months or even years. If they submitted it in August or so, it's highly unlikely it would be published by now. I'd guess about 1.5-2 months for each round of revisions (at least 1, probably up to 3), and another few weeks at the end for formatting revisions, proof review, signing publishing agreements, putting the paper online. If this market wasn't limited by "(in 2023)", I'd probably buy YES up to 30% or so.

predicted NO

@BenjaminShindel Do you think APL would continue the process given that after submission the paper was repeatedly debunked all the way up to Nature? Would it be normal for them to continue after that?

Is there any evidence that it is still being worked on at all, or was submitted at all, except an aside with a typo in it, in Korean, from 10 weeks ago, from someone whose many other claims are not believed, and who hasn't spoken publicly about the situation to clarify it in a long time?

@Ernie I'm not n academia so take whatever I'm saying with a grain of salt, but I'd assume that the reviewers would have some sort of NDA and therefore would not necessarily be discussing matters publicly, so lack of public updates is not necessary a bad thing just yet. I would assume in an ideal world no news of the process would leak until the article is suddenly published or it is abandoned (in case the reviewers and the LK-99 researchers cannot reach consensus on some sticking point) in that case I would probably expect no further news at all. Having said that, we don't live in an ideal world, so I would expect at least some kind of low level rumor to leak, especially if LK99 is real.

predicted NO

@Odoacre I mean, I just don't get why people believe at all given that everything the QERC guys has said so far has been debunked. i.e. the paper, the claim that they'll explain, the alleged "progress" with the indian team (emails never public, indian team never made convincing videos/samples), the claims they'll send samples (only korean institutions, KENTECH mum for 6+ months, KENTECH intentionally not validating claims of RTSC), south china normal university also claiming replication but also sending out nothing, that QERC will have press conferences, they'll commercialize, etc. Nothing has been real.

They published a paper which 10+ labs totally failed to replicate and have not explained anything since then and dropped off the map. So why then would we go back to something that was claimed before all that and rely on this tiny sentence in the Korean article to believe that there has been an ongoing thing with APL the whole time? My default would be to believe that's not happening at all, or at least has probably stopped by now. Unless there is more updated info supporting it?

@Ernie I think it was very well reported that they had submitted it for publication. APL would be the obvious journal, if they weren't going to submit to Nature/Science or had previously been rejected there. I don't see any reason to doubt that it is currently under review there, although it's possible it was quietly rejected and they resubmitted to another journal. Why do you think it's so unlikely? Review takes a long time. The journal has no incentive to rush things or to reject quickly.

This has no bearing on whether LK-99 is indeed a superconductor. I think the odds of that are vanishingly small at this point.

predicted NO

@BenjaminShindel links please? I followed everything I could find and only ended up at one korean news article from 7/27. If it's "very well reported" please link it to me.

predicted NO

@Ernie it's just not that implausible that someone submitted a paper to a journal. Seems to me we don't need much evidence that they did.

My NO bets are on the low probability of acceptance, and even lower probably of it happening this year.

predicted NO

This is the timeline I'm having trouble with:

  • 7.27 QERC claims "we're in consultation with APL to publish" (+5 days from arxiv)

    • along with many other confident statements

    • at this point there was hope, market is high, sometimes 25%

  • 8.x many teams fail replication in a very public, global way

    • people start to give up, market drops to 10%

  • 8.16 Nature clearly says it's not a superconductor, and even explains why the LK-99 team made the mistake

    • conferences happen where LK-99 is ridiculed and dismissed

    • nearly all research stops, market <10%

  • 9.x Nothing from the team, market 5%

  • 10.6 Some people think that the original APL submission is still happening

I would not agree with that last step.

predicted NO

@Ernie I mean I don't think it'll be published, but if it was plausible months ago that they'd submitted it, it's plausible now that the process is still ongoing, because peer review is v slow. I don't really get your beef to be honest. Anyone can submit papers, and it takes ages for anything to happen anyway.

And what was debunked was that its a superconductor, but this market allows anything related to the research. They could get knocked back on the superconductor claims, and still be trying to publish some material characterisation measurements or whatever. That's not super high probability, but not negligible either.

Edit: your beef is that they haven't confirmed in any public communications that the submission is ongoing?

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington

In July it may have made sense to believe QERC's claims, and that APL would let them publish or give them a fair review. But now that we know much more, that lowers my estimate that something positive will happen. If APL frequently publishes research which other organizations have debunked, then fair enough, it would make sense. But usually, if Nature debunks a person+their research, Science won't continue publishing their articles.

predicted NO

@Ernie right, but this market accepts any watered-down paper for a YES resolution. What's been debunked is that it's a superconductor. A boring paper on its synthesis and material properties, with claims of superconductivity removed, could still be published. Unlikely, but LK-99 exists and can be synthesised, that hasn't been debunked.

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington Yes, I saw those comments about the resolution criteria. If anything, I'd only expect a paper examining why the failures of the original LK-99 process to be published.

I'm asking whether a scientist known only for making widely debunked claims is normally able to publish even an analysis of their failures in APL? If it's a journal that does that kind of thing normally, then fair enough, this should have a high price. (Assuming the QERC team is willing to be introspective on this - which they've shown no indication of doing so far, demonstrated by fully insisting on their own correctness for a few weeks, not withdrawing the paper, refusing to explain why others couldn't replicate in interviews, and then dropping out of sight w/out explanation beyond continuing to insist they are right & the world is wrong).

But, if APL doesn't specialize in examinations of failure, I wouldn't expect it to be published there, even if as of 7/27 the prospects were good.

@chrisjbillington

I don't want to reopen this can of worms, but I would not accept just ANY paper about LK-99. It should relate to the original paper(s) in some way. I am not a materials expert myself and I don't know what a "material characterisation measurement" is. I'll make some probably really dumb examples here: a paper that says the material is gray would not qualify. A paper that explains the exact mechanism that makes it sort of float and that mechanism does not involve lk-99 being a superconductor, would.

predicted NO

@Ernie a scientist making debunked claims definitely doesn't disqualify them from being published generally. They haven't committed fraud (that we know of), and being wrong isn't a crime.

And I reiterate, LK-99 is an actual material that exists and can be synthesised. It has certain properties you can measure. I don't know anything about APL materials but on priors it doesn't seem weird a journal might publish a fairly boring paper talking about it.

@Ernie @Odoacre APL could potentially publish something like:

"Copper Modification of a Lead-Apatite Structure to generate Internal Lattice Stress with Magnetic Properties"

They'll know that the work will be high impact and high visibility.

Peer review is a terrible process and idk why you (@Ernie) think that a "debunking" or rebuttal in another journal would preclude something getting published. That's not how academics think at these journals.

@BenjaminShindel That being said, I wouldn't expect it by end of 2023. The more physics-y a paper is, the longer the peer review process tends to take for materials science papers. I've heard of peer review lasting 1 or even 2 years routinely at these kinds of journals

@BenjaminShindel if the paper is not published by market close I intend to make a new one targeting 2024

predicted NO

My main point that I'd like to get you all's opinion on (and all I need is a "yes, I see what you mean") is:

  • before the entire world has investigated LK-99, it is reasonable to consider possible publication in APL, if the author claims he is working with them on a submission

  • after the entire world including Nature debunks the author and his work, it is less likely to be published in a normal journal. [1]

You can claim "but, maybe it's interesting despite not being an SC!" and yes, that may be true; anything can happen. However, 99% of the interest in this material until now was due to the question: "Is it a room temp SC?". Now that we basically know the consensus answer [2] it is special pleading on your part to think that suddenly APL is interested in this material for another, previously unmentioned property. Most of the reason an article would appear in APL is it being a superconductor. The majority of the remainder would be "A critical examination of why LK-99 failed" [3]. Very distant third is "Some other property which isn't SC"

So, I'm saying: The fact that everyone debunked the paper does lower the probability that articles about it will be published there, unless APL is a special weird non-truth based journal,

1 i.e. a journal which readers assume contains "true" (whatever that means) articles which have passed peer review, i.e. Nearly all normal journals, Nature, Science etc.

2 Which, remember, even if the consensus is wrong, the editors of APL probably still agree with: they are part of this consensus since they write in English, have normal western Physics degrees, and none of them have publicly spoken up disagreeing with Nature or supporting LK-99 or anything other than the general consensus about it in any way.

3 Authors unlikely to do this since they haven't admitted or accepted any of the criticism they've received globally.

@Ernie It obviously lowers it by some amount, but not by as much as you’d think

@BenjaminShindel But that’s already well reflected in this market’s probability

predicted NO

@Odoacre could you make that one now? Then Ben can buy it up, and I can buy it down.

predicted NO

@Ernie

You can claim "but, maybe it's interesting despite not being an SC!"

That plus "maybe it'd get published despite not being particularly interesting" (I don't find it very interesting)

99% of the interest in this material until now was due to the question: "Is it a room temp SC?"

Not that we have a metric of "interest" but I feel like by any measure something 1% as interesting as a RTAPSC would be practically guaranteed publication somewhere.

Most of the reason an article would appear in APL is it being a superconductor.

Crappy pointless articles get published all the time. APL looks fairly high-impact though, so less likely, unless the editors and reviewers, like, intentionally wanted to make a point of it for some reason. Like, maybe they would especially want to publish it as long as the authors acknowledge that it's not a superconductor. "We thought something was a superconductor, but it wasn't" is perhaps good to have in the peer-previewed literature somewhere, you could imagine some reviewers and editors going for that based on what they think the purpose of publishing stuff is (which there is not widespread agreement on, journals and reviewers are humans with weird opinions like anyone else).

On these points:

  • before the entire world has investigated LK-99, it is reasonable to consider possible publication in APL, if the author claims he is working with them on a submission

  • after the entire world including Nature debunks the author and his work, it is less likely to be published in a normal journal. [1]

It wasn't that reasonable to consider possible publication pre-debunking, as the claims of superconductivity were flimsy (any given journal would probably reject it I would guess, though if you tried enough of them one would probably publish it).

It's not that unreasonable to consider publication now, because peer review is arbitrary and inconsistent and you can't know how reviewers and editors are thinking. Some journal somewhere would probably publish something still, but this market is about APL specifically so the probability is not that high.

So I agree with @BenjaminShindel that the probability has decreased by less than you think, but FWIW that's partly because it was never that high in the first place.

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington

It wasn't that reasonable to consider possible publication pre-debunking, as the claims of superconductivity were flimsy (any given journal would probably reject it I would guess, though if you tried enough of them one would probably publish it).

Yes but that's an argument that you shouldn't have believed even the original, completely unvalidated claim by an arrogant LK-99 researcher before global scorn arrived either. i.e. even on 7/27 he was already weak. Nearly all of his claims made during that time have proven false since then, right?

It's not that unreasonable to consider publication now, because peer review is arbitrary and inconsistent and you can't know how reviewers and editors are thinking.

Hmm, is your model that if LK-99 gets lucky, they might just get two random reviewers who give it a go-ahead? I don't think that's likely. I'd expect this to be discussed to the very top of APL including statements like "do we really want to be seen associating with these guys?" etc. There's no way it's random enough to let this get through by chance after that exposure. If there's a reason to think APL in particular would tolerate it, fine, but nobody has offered any so I'm assuming there is none.

Also, I noticed you're a NO holder, too, so I'm not sure why you're making point suggesting the price is too low, but not buying YES. Are you sincerely believing the price should be above 15%?

@Ernie I think you're operating under some incorrect assumptions of how journals decide what papers to publish. Top-down discussions like this are probably not taking place, and if they are, they don't have an impact on whether the assigned editor decides to publish it or not. This could easily get through "by chance", yes.

predicted NO

@Ernie I'm not suggesting the price is too low now, but perhaps it was when you bid it down to 10% (at which point I did sell a little of my NO). Maybe it is now, I'm not sure. I might cash out a bit of my profits.

Also, people keep betting YES, so letting the market be anchored around 30% or whatever it was and just continually milking it was a pretty profitable strategy. If you're not mana constrained then you could keep the price lower and we won't be able to milk it anymore, but if you run out of mana we might just end up back at 30% again, making the little excursion to 10% or 15% a bit pointless. Such is the way of LK-99 markets. At least this one resolves at EOY.

predicted NO

@BenjaminShindel Oh, do you think that APL might accidentally publish a paper asserting something which just last month Nature criticized? Have similar things happening in the past?

Can you please make some markets which elucidate our disagreement so we can bet on them? Maybe something like "Whether any LK-99 researcher will every publish with a coauthor who is well-respected as a physicist, again in their careers?" I'd be <10% on that, perhaps excluding the one professor at W&M.

I am arguing and betting that even if eventually shown true, until that day, that there will be massive discrimination against the LK-99 researchers, precisely because they were so globally attacked without offering any defense at all; and, that global science is correct to do this.

They will likely never speak at a physics conference, be referenced positively, or publish with a respected co-author again. I've made these markets which we can use to figure out the details of our views about this.

/Ernie/will-any-of-the-original-7-lk99-res

/Ernie/will-any-of-the-original-7-lk99-res-43626166bfee

/Ernie/will-any-of-the-original-7-lk99-res-ef2cee97ad67

/Ernie/will-any-of-the-original-7-lk99-res-ee01d2fcd73c

(Note, the last 2 markets are more strict in criteria than the first two)

predicted NO

@Ernie

Oh, do you think that APL might accidentally publish a paper asserting something which just last month Nature criticized?

This is a strawman, nobody is expecting with non-negligible probability that papers claiming superconductivity will be published, which is what has been debunked. Almost all of the probability mass is in a paper being published that does not claim superconductivity.

They will likely never speak at a physics conference, be referenced positively, or publish with a respected co-author again.

Eh, I don't know about that. Again, being wrong isn't a crime. I'll look at your markets.

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington coming back now I feel we never reached understanding

My view: someone with no public reputation but a professor job is generally believed when they make normal sounding claims like "I'm working on publishing about this in APL"

But after getting demolished in global journals and media and offering zero defense for three months it doesn't make sense to afford such a person credibility any more.

We should think back and say, "you know what, this guy might just be full of it"

But like many a situation on manifold the most vehement arguers just disappear when you create markets about the true crux of disagreement rather than acknowledging that arguments had an effect on them, or betting in support of the original view.

predicted NO

@Ernie I think we still disagree is all, not sure there is much we can do to convince each other. I don't expect it will be published this year whether it was submitted or not, so we can't bet over this disagreement.

I think we have different priors about what scientific publication is like. Crappy stuff gets published all the time.

Further, I don't think "this guy is full of it" implies much about whether he was intending to get a paper out. Whether he's a fraud scientifically or not (and I'm not convinced he is, my top hypothesis is that the LK-99 researchers are mistaken true believers), why would he lie about trying to publish? Like, it's in his interests to try and get published whether he's a fraud or not, right?

The lack of any published paper indicates to me that he either didn't get around to completing the process, or got knocked back, or it's still ongoing. All of these are plausible.

Like, I wouldn't rule out that he lied about it either, it's just not particularly necessary to invoke it as an explanation, and my priors for it aren't super high. Why wouldn't someone want to publish? They put their papers on the archiv, they've submitted to journals before - it's just not that weird that they would try to publish.

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington yes I think he had preliminary contact with APL pre investigation and bragged about that, which people believed, so feels like we're similar there. And I also agree that ofc he wants to publish. And I agree that junk gets published.

What I am pointing out that's not been acknowledged is that what in July deserved respectful credence "I did something good which I intend to publish" now deserves more derision from us and from APL

So about this:

Didn't get around to completing the process, or got knocked back, or it's still ongoing. All of these are plausible.

Totally agree

Before August I'd give those three equal probability. After August + his lack of any action to clear his name I am 98% in the knocked back/gave up category.

But I also see you're the number 1 NO holder so we're actually on the same side here 🤝

predicted NO

@Ernie oh, hmm do you mean that since APL is more open or easier to publish in, it's really more down to his intention than to the science of the article?

IE the open access journal thing? I'm wondering why you are emphasizing his intention rather than talking about editorial viewpoints.

I wasn't able to find much info on how APL actually works and how it's different than other journals

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