As medical parasitologists we tend not to be too squeamish when discussing human feces. They represent one of the “five F’s” of parasitology – feces, fingers, flies, food, fomites – and indeed, most of the world’s poor living below the World Bank poverty level lives with intestinal worms and consequently parasitic helminth eggs in their feces.
Still, we were caught a bit off guard when one of the staff at PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases telephoned to give us a heads up that we were about to publish “An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool” by Krauth et al. The voice on the other line said the article had gone through extensive peer review as well as reviews by both Associate and Deputy Editors, and it was to go live in a couple of days. They called because we should know that as the Editors-in-Chief we still had the prerogative to change the title.