This is the culture we want to change

By | July 9, 2012
"Publish or perish" is often a hinderance to effective research, in the same way that patents are often a hinderance to effective innovation.

The result of both of these systems is considerable abuse: patents were created to encourage innovators to disclose their ideas to one another, and publications were created to share results and 'lessons learned' from one academic group to another. But then, measuring people on how much they publish, or measuring companies by how generic the patents they hold are, accomplishes the opposite: academics are encouraged to write as much garbage as they can, instead of focusing on major results. This is an intentional, contribution to information overload inherent in the current academic system, and (as this case demonstrates) no deterrent to falsifying results.

I'm not sure if this is a world record in fabricated results – it may be surprising in the anesthesiology department, but certain other research groups almost always present fabricated – or at least heavily manipulated – results, depending on who happens to be funding the research.

Research needs to be a non-partisan, independent branch, if we are indeed to learn anything from the results.

/via +Wayne Radinsky 

Anesthesiologist Fabricates 172 Papers | The Scientist
Anesthesiologist Fabricates 172 Papers |

5 thoughts on “This is the culture we want to change

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    +Baldur Kubo I think the incentive will come at latest then, when students stop signing up for costly accreditations. But it would be a pity if we had to wait that long to make the change.

    Reply
  2. grant gundersen

    I found it interesting that this came from an anesthesiologist; the supplement industry, especially weight loss, is based on research fabrication.  Every exercise magazine in America carries snippets of fabricated research. 
    Also, "Open" is a frequently misused term.  Open refers to shared or public access to framework for development, it is associated with being free because you couldn't, ethically, grab someones OS, add your own tweaks and sell it.  So a Youtube or Vimeo seminar being an example for the "open education movement" sums the initiative.   Anyone can learn in their free time, but to think that accredited programs could be developed resulting in some sort of credential is absurd.  ooh and free. 

    Reply
  3. Baldur Kubo

    +Sophie Wrobel So, it is in awareness creation stage. What might be the incentives to leaders in academia for changing the rules of accreditation and criteria for success  for an individual, department, … ?
    People tend to achieve what are regularly measured as success criteria.

    Reply
  4. Sophie Wrobel

    +Baldur Kubo I think it's already changing – the open education movement (startups like coursera, the Ivy League free online seminars, boycotting Elsevir, etc) has set the stage for a revolution in academia. But it will be a while before it is changed everywhere!

    Reply

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