February 22, 2011

A perverse incentive?

"Publish or perish" is so twentieth-century. Today, it is not enough to publish – your papers must be cited. Citation indices abound, and many a scientist monitors their own h-index.

So, as citations have become such an important metric, a shrewd strategy for professional advancement would be to publish papers that are wrong.

Because then, others will publish papers correcting yours, and cite you in the process, thereby making you a highly-cited researcher.

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