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Re: Bad Research (2 messages) Frieda Rosenberg 02 Aug 2002 12:13 UTC

> ....snip.....
> > >         When Price described 'big science' in 1963, he wrote,
> > >         "if we know how many papers are published in a field,
> > >         we can compute the number of men who have written them."
> > >         [LITTLE SCIENCE BIG SCIENCE p. 63] I really don't think
> > >         that anything has changed since then.
> >
> > Can't find.  Perhaps it was dropped from the posthumous 1986 edition?
>         In the 1986 paperback, see page 44 in the para
>         beginning "The modified law ..."

Reading it fails to show any application to the present question.
Authors who never get beyond one paper are probably soon forced out of
the scientific field, or into a non-publishing branch of it.  For the
rest, the demand for publication at the rate of two papers per year may
indeed lead to "bad research."

> > As to the below, another magic idea:  Reduce price (most of which goes
> > "straight to profitability.")  Then, magically, libraries will be able
> > to afford more journals.
>         You must mean that by reducing the number of R&D
>         projects, fewer papers would lead to reduced costs
>         and lower journal prices.
>         More important, if the emphasis of R&D were shifted
>         into the preparation of research, executions would
>         be of higher quality. There would be fewer papers
>         and fewer errors, duplications, etc.
>         Productivity in science depends on better (not less)
>         inputs that reduce errors, omissions, and blind
>         duplications. Where modern research management went
>         wrong was in reducing financial inputs. That achieved
>         mere financial productivity at the cost of quality.
>         Yes. By all means. Get the researchers back into the
>         libraries. Get some librarians to help them. Work
>         smarter, not harder.
>         If you are saying, 'No more bad research!' I agree.
We prefer straightforward talk.
As librarians, our sympathies tend to be with the many publishers whose
prices are reasonable.
We'd like to buy more of their journals, but the budget will only
stretch so far.

Best, Frieda Rosenberg (UNC-Chapel Hill)

>         Best wishes,
> Albert Henderson
> <>
> PS      Most of journal pricing, by the way, goes to
>         production and overhead, not to profit. You can
>         see this clearly from the operating statements of
>         any public publisher.
> .