This paper presents a simple model of the lifecycle of scientific ideas that points to changes in scientist incentives as the cause of scientific stagnation. It explores ways to broaden how scientific productivity is measured and rewarded, involving both academic search engines such as Google Scholar measuring which contributions explore newer ideas and university administrators and funding agencies utilizing these new metrics in research evaluation.
Opinion: Things are not right in the culture of research, and that this is ultimately to the detriment of research. Two issues emerge: the huge complexity of the research ecosystem, and the related problem of collective action that this complexity creates.
Octopus: a Radical New Approach to Scientific Publishing
In order to align incentives with good science, we need to move to a system in which work that is well thought-out, well carried-out, and well communicated – regardless of the ‘story’ it tells – is given the highest reward. Changing what is rewarded will change what is done.
Data Sharing at Scale: A Heuristic for Affirming Data Cultures
Addressing the most pressing contemporary social, environmental, and technological challenges will require integrating insights and sharing data across disciplines, geographies, and cultures. Strengthening international data sharing networks will not only demand advancing technical, legal, and logistical infrastructure for publishing data in open, accessible formats; it will also require recognizing, respecting, and learning to work across diverse data cultures. This essay introduces a heuristic for pursuing richer characterizations of the “data cultures” at play in international, interdisciplinary data sharing.
One year ago, the Royal Society hosted the Research culture: Changing expectations conference. The conference ended with a call to action for attendees to consider how they could improve research culture in their own institutions. In this blog we report back on a snapshot of the work of some of these individuals and organisations.
The State of Open Data 2019 report is the fourth in the series and includes survey results and a collection of articles from global industry experts.It is now the longest running longitudinal study on the subject, which was created in 2016 to examine attitudes and experiences of researchers working with open data - sharing it, reusing it, and redistributing it. This year's survey received a record number of survey participants with around 8,500 responses from the research community. While most trends are encouraging around the adoption and acceptance of open data, the research community is now demanding more enforcement of the mandates that have been adopted by many governments, funders, publishers and institutions around the world.The majority of researchers want funding withheld and penalties for a lack of data sharing.
Funders and Journals, Not Students, Should Lead on Standards for Research Rigour
The efforts of young researchers to fight the perverse incentives that dominate science right now are all the more impressive because these scientists are at the most vulnerable point of their careers.