The term “Publish or perish” is well known, and in part comes from seeing that those who publish more, tend to receive more as well. Volume counts. This skews incentives, leading to shortcuts and outright fraud. Will this ever change? In a recent article on one such fraud, and subsequent mass-retraction, news about increased plagiarism detection, and new channels to voice concerns may indicate the direction the world of publication is moving.

The consequences are already being seen, as this quote from the linked article indicates:

there’s been a huge rise in the number of retractions over the past two decades, from around 40 retractions per year in 2000 to around 1,500 in recent years.

It is not only limited to current researchers, a new investigation of H J Eysenck’s work has lead to 26 of his publications termed as “unsafe”; a more serious label is hard to find.

While the most prominent researchers and the most egregious cases are often the first to be taken, there are an increasing number of examples. I have previously written about Amy Cuddy and Diederik Stapel; whose research careers have taken a hit.

Perhaps we are entering a new era, where those who succeed by taking shortcuts, will loose in the medium term.


After 30 of his papers were retracted, this Melbourne scientist finally lost his job

Updated October 26, 2019 09:59:16 A Swinburne University scientist has lost his job after an internal investigation into alleged research misconduct. Dr Ali Nazari from Swinburne’s School of Engineering has had dozens of papers retracted by scientific journals this year over concerns about duplication of data.

Work of renowned UK psychologist Hans Eysenck ruled ‘unsafe’

The work of one of the most famous and influential British psychologists of all time, Hans Eysenck, is under a cloud following an investigation by King’s College London, which has found 26 of his published papers “unsafe”. King’s says the results and conclusions of the papers “were not considered scientifically rigorous” by its committee of inquiry.


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