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Publish and who should perish: you or science?

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Something is wrong with science as there is an increasing amount of unreliable, manipulated and outright faked results appearing in the literature. Here I argue that this is a direct consequence of the pay-structure and the assessment system employed in academia and it could be remedied by changing hiring, advancement, and funding criteria. Scientists are paid below average relative to their level of education, unless they are at the top or can secure grants that allow for higher salaries. Positions and grants are mostly awarded based on bibliometric numbers. Consequently, there is a strong competition to accumulate numbers of papers, impact factors, and citations. Those who can increase their value efficiently will be rewarded and the accumulation of higher values will become easier (the Matthew effect). Higher bibliometric numbers can be obtained by unethical or questionable practices, which might tempt some people. If assessments did not employ bibliometric numbers, then these practices would not have a benefit, and would fade out. Throughout the text, data from Hungary, which are similar to data from elsewhere, supplement the argument.

About the Author

Ádám Kun
1 Center for the Conceptual Foundations of Science, Parmenides Foundation 2 Evolutionary Systems Research Group, MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences 3 MTA-ELTE Theoretical Biology and Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Eötvös Loránd University


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Kun Á. Publish and who should perish: you or science? Science Editor and Publisher. 2019;4(1-2):76-93. (In Russ.)

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