Before the TOC this awesome article came out about SPS. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1359/1
The author credited Justin Skarb for some help.
Upon further research, it appears Justin Skarb actually wrote the article. He is also the coach at Damien.
Obviously people have called out Damien before on emailing authors and using their responses as evidence, and there has been much debate on the legitimacy of that. This is a seperate matter, and I think this issue merits some discussion as well. I have three questions:
1) Is it legitimate for a coach to write articles which are clearly relevant to the current debate topic? Should we treat these differently? And should the purpose/content be relevant? For example, here are two different scenarios:
a) It is clearly written for the purpose of a debate round, such as this article which included a few disads and a counterplan without citing research
It is not as rhetorically powerful, is backed up with research, and is written as a product of knowledge acquired over a year of debating the topic rather than with the intent of producing new evidence.
Obviously it is difficult to measure intent, although it may not actually be necessary, since in scenario b it is less likely that the article would be used as evidence or be the critical card in some debate.
2) If it is legitimate, should the coaches experience on the topic be an additional factor when comparing qualifications, or should the evidence be evaluated based solely on the author's other qualifications? If it is not legitimate, what is the remedy? Should the evidence be evaluated as nothing more than a lengthy analytic, or is it an ethics question?
3) If it is ok to write the article, is it ethical to use a pen name?
Because I am remaining anonymous, I'm not voicing opinions. This is an attempt to spur discussion from others on an important issue, and shouldn't just turn into a hate on Damien thread.