[Irtalk] There’s Something Really Wrong With Science These Days | Brain Blogger

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Fri Dec 26 16:36:35 SAST 2014

But it just so happens that science itself has become a rather predatory
business. “Publish or perish” is the maxim among scientists. There are
highly competitive contexts in which you either produce a significant
amount of articles or you get canned. *Science and scientists’ careers are
now evaluated quantitatively rather than qualitatively.*

Science metrics have become a widely debated issue. But it somehow feels
that it’s all gone out of control. Young scientists trying to establish
themselves and earn grants to fund their research are an easy target for
predatory journals. The temptation of an easy publication is overpowering.

*This is giving rise to really bad science; shortcuts, “embellishments”,
and even fake results are all over. As a consequence, article retractions
are growing at an alarming rate.* According to Retraction Watch (a blog
that tracks retractions and lets the world finally know about them),
Nature, a highly rigorous and respected journal, whose acceptance criteria
are supposed to be unquestionable, retracted six papers in 2013 and nine in
2014. That’s a lot, and that’s just from Nature.

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