About us

Our company, founded in March 2006, provides tools for analysis, thin film deposition, measurement and control applications from market-leading suppliers. We focus on research, development and process control in the materials science, energy research and semiconductor markets. We have a significant breadth of product offering, including the World market leading thin film metrology company k-Space Associates, Inc. and our 15+ year relationship has included 9 Distributor of the Year awards.

Products and services

k-Space Associates, Inc.

In-situ thin film metrology

European sales partner.

Staib Instruments GmbH

Products for RHEED and surface analysis

UK & Ireland sales partner.

Thought for the month

"There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen" Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. 1870 – 1924


RTA Instruments Ltd
Back Lane,
Monks Eleigh
United Kingdom

E: sales at rta-instruments.com

Wednesday 3 July 2013

No pressure, no diamonds?

Thomas Carlyle is quoted as saying: no pressure, no diamonds. Last month the pressures for academic success led to a 52 year old French mother attempting to sit a baccalaureate exam for her daughter. The pressure to publish or perish is not new to the scientific world but there are growing concerns about fact-fabricators. Retractions of scientific claims by medical journals will probably exceed 500 in 2013. A recent open letter from over 80 signatories mainly from the psychology and behavioural sciences discussed the pressures for publications to be positive, novel, neat and eye catching leading to practices such as cherry-picking data or analyses. One of their points being that negative results, complicated results, or attempts to replicate previous studies rarely make it into the scientific record. They note that one peer-reviewed outlet has offered authors the opportunity to publish a type of article called a registered report.  Registered reports are reviewed before scientists collect data. If the scientific question and methods are deemed sound, the authors are then offered "in-principle acceptance" of their article, which virtually guarantees publication regardless of how the results turn out.

Whilst I feel that the data collection and statistical analysis methodologies in the physical sciences are often more advanced than in the behavioural sciences, the letter is worth consideration.

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