Academic research in the 21st century: Maintaining scientific integrity in a climate of perverse incentives and hypercompetition

Last modified: May 22, 2017

‘The incentives and reward structure of academia have undergone a dramatic change in the last half century.’ This article gives an overview of the changes in academia over the last 50 years. The authors argue that the incentives for academic scientists have become increasingly perverse and competitive, and that we have reason to worry about how this can alter –maybe already is altering- the academic behaviour of both researchers and universities.
Moreover the authors raise the question of how to maintain scientific integrity in such a damaged and unlucky research climate. While many factors, such as state or federal funding levels, are beyond the individual scientist’ control, the authors aruge that scientists are not powerless or passive actors. They propose several measures for scientists to address the problems discussed.

 

Publication

Title: Academic research in the 21st century: Maintaining scientific integrity in a climate of perverse incentives and hypercompetition
Authors: Edwards MA, Roy S
doi: 10.1089/ees.2016.0223 (2016)

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