Sometimes scientists can be faced with incentives that run counter to good science. For instance, in order to obtain a journal publication that will get them a grant or a promotion, scientists may be incentivised to exaggerate their findings, or even to drop out data points that do not fit a hypothesis. Some believe that the evaluation of scientists based on metrics alone (IF of journal publications, h-index, etc.) can encourage sloppy science or outright misconduct.
Journals, peer reviewers, universities, and funding agencies may also be confronted with incentives that do not promote good science.
It is important that scientists are incentivized to do good science and be good scientists. This means that, as much as possible, good science should be rewarded. If not, then it may not be realistic to expect a culture that fosters research integrity, nor to expect a lasting solution to problems of reproducibility. Moreover, should institutions and journals keep perverse incentives in place, it may not be fair to individual scientists to hold them only responsible for undesirable scientific outcomes.
Students, PhD Students, Scientists, Researchers, Academic staff, Research institutions, Supervisors, Postdocs, Universities, Funders, Journal publishers, Journal editors, Junior researchers, Senior researchers, Reviewers
How to reform the incentive structure of science is a subject of ongoing research and debate. See, e.g.,
Hugh Desmond contributed to this theme.
Latest contribution was May 29, 2019