Jun 252010

An interesting article was recently published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The authors note that the number of scientific researchers, and therefore the number of research publications, has increased dramatically in the past few decades, and claim this is indicative of an “avalanche of low-quality research” that must be quelled for the good of science. With all due respect to the authors, I’d like to address this cynical and short-sighted view of scientific research in the modern information-centric world. The article is linked above, and worth a read if you are so inclined, but at the heart is the conclusion that: The amount of redundant, inconsequential, and outright poor research has swelled in recent decades, filling countless pages in journals and monographs. The argument goes something like this: According to Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, the number of publications is increasing at a rate of 3.26% per year, doubling in merely

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