In some fields with large collaborations, such as experimental particle physics and astrophysics, data is often posted as rumors (for lack of a better word) on blogs or by individuals to the press. This is usually frowned upon by the larger community, because it promotes lower standards of data analysis and the rumors are later disproven more often than not. These rumors can have theoretical implications as well.
One question has already arisen about such topics, namely ATLAS Higgs Interpretation. It has garnered 2 upvotes, but I have been hesitantly thinking about downvoting it. I'm of the opinion that we should respect the standards of the community when discussing these sorts of things, which in this case would mean to not discuss such works until they are public.
Now, I'd be fine with it if the question were essentially theoretical, with the experimental rumors as motivation but not essential. However, at least in the case of the linked question, it would seem to be mostly phenomenological in nature, and is intricately tied to experiment. I'm all for including phenomenology (in fact, I'm working in phenomenology right now) but I'm of the opinion we should wait to discuss such things until they have been made public. I'd imagine it would be a big deal if some theorist tried to publish theoretical implications based on such a rumor before it was confirmed, and I think the standards here for discussion should be similar.
I'm not terribly strongly opinionated, though. I don't want to limit healthy discussion on the one hand, but on the other I don't think we should be promoting low standards for discussion. So I'm asking for opinions on this issue. I'm tentatively against it, but either way I do think we need to set the standard for such discussions early, since they will likely happen again.
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