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Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles

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Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 01:59
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Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year
actually was published.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last
several years.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years.
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year.
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that
articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication.

OA will be given tomorrow.


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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by ankitranjan on 10 Oct 2010, 02:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 02:48
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ankitranjan wrote:
Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year
actually was published.
Neutral. This option neither strengthens or weakens.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last
several years.
Possible candidate.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years.
Out of scope. Does not talk about the articles about the experiments involving particle accelerator.
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year.
New information. Out of scope.
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that
articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication.
Possible candidate.
OA will be given tomorrow.


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Narrowed down to B and E.

Option B: The average wait time has declined over the past several years but it does not reflect the availability of the particle accelerator. Also even if we assume that the decreased wait time means high availability there could be other reasons for the low number of articles published.

Option E: Brings in another angle to the argument by noting that the editorial policy change would reduce the number of articles accepted for publication. Even though "recent" is not clearly defined this option is the most promising one.

My final answer is E.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 09:49
I narrowed it down to B and E.

Still confused...
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 09:51
My choice is E. OA plz
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 10:35
E it is :)
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 01:28
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Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year
actually was published.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last
several years.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years.
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year.
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that
articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication.



This is a simple one and you should destroy these questions in less than 1 min and 30 secs.. Here,s how to do it.
By looking at the conclusion and the stem, it is evident that the question is CAUSE AND AFFECT reasoning + WEAKEN question.

So by mapping the conlusion we see that :
PED (decline in availability of particle accelerators) {CAUSE} ---------->>>> LNOA (low number of
articles) {EFFECT}

In these types of questions, following options are to be considered:
A. Find an alternate cause for the stated effect
B. Show that even when the cause occurs, the effect does not occur
C. Show that although the effect occurs, the cause did not occur
D. Show that the stated relationship is in fact reversed
E. Show a statistical problem exists with the data used to make the causal
statement

Mostly answer will be from the first 2 or the last option (which is tricky).
Coming back to the question, find any alternate cause for the stated effect in AC,s. E best explains an alternate cause.

(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that
articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication.

So, it was not due to the fact that we had less particle accelerators but because of change in
the policy that the number of artiles were decreased. Statement E clearly explain the alternate cause for the stated effect.

HENCE E. Hope it helps. :)

Any suggestions are welcomed.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 03:26
E it is...

I personally think that this question tried to induce confusion with the question stem asking to undermine the journalists' argument and not the conclusion itself. Had he asked to undermine the conclusion, the answer choice would be more easily identifiable. Because none of the other choices target any other part of the premise, it is easy to mark 'E' as the answer.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 06:31
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ankitranjan wrote:
Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year actually was published. - Irrelevant.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last several years. - doesnt address the conclusion.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years. - Irrelevant
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year. irrelevant
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication. - Correct. This one will mean that there will be less articles on Particle accelerator.OA will be given tomorrow.


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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 11:40
E sud be the ans.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 11:42
perfect explanation

kudos :)

Thabk wrote:
ankitranjan wrote:
Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year actually was published. - Irrelevant.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last several years. - doesnt address the conclusion.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years. - Irrelevant
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year. irrelevant
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication. - Correct. This one will mean that there will be less articles on Particle accelerator.OA will be given tomorrow.


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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2010, 09:05
A- strengthen rather than weaken, eliminating another possible explanation for the lower articles.
B - Scientists are easier to access to particle accelerators - does not affect the argument
C - similar to A
D - Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group - does not affect the argument
E - another explanation for the lower articles - weaken the argument.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2010, 13:45
+1 E 8-)
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2010, 01:05
Took me 2:36, but I finally chose E. I have GOT to stop second-guessing myself once I find a correct answer!
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2011, 21:10
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What's wrong with D.
Both D and E are equal contenders.Both of them are weakning the argument in their own ways
D is weakening the argument by stating that
"Although the effect occurs, the cause was not the reason for the occurence of the effect"

E is weakening the argument by stating that
"The stated cause was not the reason that the effect occured"

How do you break the tie between the two, as both of them qualify equally in weakening the argument.
I find D more appealing in that, E mentions the word recent, which may mean different for different people.
It may mean this year, or it may mean previous 5 years. Who knows ? :)

Somebody kindly enlighten.
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Re: CR1 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2011, 21:27
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suyash wrote:
What's wrong with D.
Both D and E are equal contenders.Both of them are weakning the argument in their own ways
D is weakening the argument by stating that
"Although the effect occurs, the cause was not the reason for the occurence of the effect"

E is weakening the argument by stating that
"The stated cause was not the reason that the effect occured"

How do you break the tie between the two, as both of them qualify equally in weakening the argument.
I find D more appealing in that, E mentions the word recent, which may mean different for different people.
It may mean this year, or it may mean previous 5 years. Who knows ? :)

Somebody kindly enlighten.


My question, as well. I chose D. The argument says the number of accelerators is directly proportional to the number of articles. But what if you can just double up the groups of experiments on the available accelerators. Then you can produce the same or more output in terms of articles.

Looking back, E is, however, a very strong answer. And if I did the question again, the tie break would be the sheer strength of that answer.

I guess the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one. And I have a bad habit of skipping over the more straightforward answers, over thinking, and picking the wrong ones. :|
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Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2011, 03:59
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I also have had a hard time deciding between between (D) and (E).

(D) If particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year, then the drop of the availability of accelerators due to their repairs could be offset by using available accelerators more.

(E) I dismissed this choice for two reasons:

1) The stimulus talks about articles reporting results of experiments involving particle accelerators; whereas (E) talks about articles concerning patricle-accelerator research, which IMO is not the same. And the reason I think these two are not the same is because particle accelerator research IMO studies accelerators, and experiments involving particle accelerators are concerned with behavior of particles in accelerators. E.g., (E) talks about CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics), stimulus talks about a research at one of CERN's accelerators.

2) Additionally, (E) talks about recent changes in editorial policies. The stimulus talks about events that are two years old.

Maybe I'm overthinking this one too much and maybe both underlined phrases are just the same. Maybe recent means two years ago. But anyway, I strongly think that (D) is a valid answer and not anywhere inferior to (E).

Here's OG's explanation (BTW it's Q83 from OG12):

(D) If the accelerators can be used for multiple experiments, then it is reasonable to expect more articles related to them, not fewer.

Now, I don't know why we can infer that. Since some accelerators were out of service, then it is reasonable to assume that even though accelerators can be used to process more than one experiment, the workload on working accelerators would increase thereby not allowing the overall number of experiments to increase.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2011, 06:31
Definitely E
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Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2011, 12:35
For those who are interested, here's why (D) is a wrong answer:

The effect: There were fewer articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle accelerators.

The stated cause (the one we should attack): Some accelerators were unavailable for research.

To refute the cause and effect relationship we need to, for example, find an alternative cause.

(D) doesn't accomplish this because had it been true that other functioning accelerators were available for multiple experiments, the effect would have never occurred in the first place. Well of course if those accelerators hadn't been already used at their full capacities. But even if that were the case, (D) still wouldn't be a great alternative cause of the decline in the number of published articles.

(E) provides an alternative explanation of the stated effect.

The only thing that still bothers me is the word 'lately' in (E). But all in all (E) is a clear winner now.
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Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2012, 22:53
I for one moment though about D but few particle accelerators should not hamper the articles presented but if the publication is against printing such articles then the number of such articles will definitely decline,as a result I chose E.
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Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2012, 06:22
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ankitranjan wrote:
Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles reporting the results of experiments involving particle
accelerators was lower last year than it had been in previous years. Several of the particle accelerators at major
research institutions were out of service the year before last for repairs, so it is likely that the low number of
articles was due to the decline in availability of particle accelerators.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the journalist’s argument?
(A) Every article based on experiments with particle accelerators that was submitted for publication last year
actually was published.
(B) The average time scientists must wait for access to a particle accelerator has declined over the last
several years.
(C) The number of physics journals was the same last year as in previous years.
(D) Particle accelerators can be used for more than one group of experiments in any given year.
(E) Recent changes in the editorial policies of several physics journals have decreased the likelihood that
articles concerning particle-accelerator research will be accepted for publication.

OA will be given tomorrow.


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conclusion : the decrease in number of publication last year was due to unavailability of particle accelerator.
premise 1/ reason : several particle accelerators were out of service


to weaken this argument/conclusion lets look out for an alternate reason leading to conclusion. this is exactly wht option E does, it shows decrease is due to changes in editorial policies.
Re: Journalist: In physics journals, the number of articles   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2012, 06:22
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