Recently I received an email invitation to vote in a new awards program offered by a life science publisher…

A few things bothered me:

1. I’m not a scientist.  Nor are any of the others here at the office who received this invitation.  Clearly there wasn’t much in the way of list control.

2. You can take the survey multiple times or forward it to someone else to take.  Not a good way to collect reliable data.

3. There’s no screening or validation to ensure that when I proceed to the next page that I am qualified (by experience, position, segment, etc) to vote for the “winner” in this category.  And the selection of choices presented in this category don’t appear to have much logic behind them.

4. We coined the term “The Scientist’s Choice” for our the first ever Life Science Industry Awards held in 2004 to reflect the roots of our collaboration with The Scientist magazine.  Prior to that the awards had been knows as The Scientist’s Readers Choice Awards..

5. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the flaws in this methodology make me believe this is less about recognizing the industry’s leaders and more about selling advertising.

What is equally disturbing to me is how often I see these same kinds of DIY mistakes made by Product Managers using a rented email list and simian software to survey life scientists.  They have a lot more at stake than this publisher and ought to know better!