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Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Sean, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thousands of scientists publish a paper every five days

    Nature 561, 167-169 (2018)
    doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-06185-8

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8

    (Full article. No paywall. PDF link.)

     
  2. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In @Brian Hughes' book Psychology in Crisis, I just learnt (amongst many things in there) a rather horrifying fact. Because of the way the system works, scientists score kudos points from the papers they publish, as well as from how many times they are cited in other papers; that is fine with me in principle. But the citation scores do not distinguish between whether a citation applauds good science or is slamming bad science. So the various references to PACE in all the justifiably critical papers on it, actually bolsters these people's notional track record! The system really does need some overhauling.
     
  3. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Anyone doing this should IMO be stuck off, disbarred, whatever the correct term is.

    When I consider that 'reputable' science involves some thought as to a proposal, acquiring funding, ethics approval, recruitment, actual trials/testing of the hypothesis, writing a paper, getting it peer reviewed, publishing, the very notion that someone can do this 72 times a year is absurd and shows they may not be doing things properly, and if they aren't doing things properly, don't publish them - or fund them - or give them a car parking space, or a job.

    That sort of turnover should be used by the 'authorities' to identify rogue elements, prior to dealing with them in an appropriate manner.
     
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  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You don't really need to worry. The only things that citation number really matters for is promotion and tenure. These people are all professors already and mostly retiring.
     
  5. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Incorrect information also remains uncorrected, or corrected in some way that doesn't make it clear to readers that there is a problem.

    In some ways, the way schools are run is more rigorous than science. For one, students aren't asked to rate each other's homework (let alone their own *cough* Cochrane review *cough). Two, quantity of homework done isn't a substitute for quality. Three, if students perform poorly they can actually face consequences.
     
  6. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The reason I'm unhappy with it is that it's just plain wrong ... and so very 'unscientific'. Looking after the pennies so the pounds look after themselves sort of thing.
     
  7. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  8. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I think because she's a professor anyone in her department including any research students who produces a paper will have to include her in the authorship. And most of them are tiny crap studies that can be churned out by the dozen just using their own clinic patients who they are treating anyway, so don't cost much.
     
  9. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wessely likes to point out that he has his name on over 800 papers, which is about one every 13.5 days over his 30 year career.
     
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  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not always. What happens in some cases is a small number of senior scientists oversee a huge number of more junior scientists. They do the work, and the senior scientists keep watch. When the paper gets published their names go to the end. They are involved, but not doing the base research themselves. This can happen in very large scientific institutions.

    If they are not in such an institution then they should be investigated, but who is there to do that?
     
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  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am more concerned about narrow interest groups producing smaller numbers of RCTs using poor methodology, such as with a lot of CBT research. Those can make their way into evidence based reviews. PACE comes to mind, and the whole CBT/GET saga.
     
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  12. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Izal used to have its name on a lot more.
     
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