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Publications 2018, 6(2), 18;

Publish and Who Should Perish: You or Science?

Center for the Conceptual Foundations of Science, Parmenides Foundation, Kirchplatz 1, Pullach, 82049 Munich, Germany
Evolutionary Systems Research Group, MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Klebelsberg Kuno u. 3., 8237 Tihany, Hungary
MTA-ELTE Theoretical Biology and Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Ethics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [909 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: publish or perish; inequality; Matthew effect; early stage researchers; Hungary publish or perish; inequality; Matthew effect; early stage researchers; Hungary

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Kun, Á. Publish and Who Should Perish: You or Science? Publications 2018, 6, 18.

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