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The 'publishing' aspect of science

  1. Nov 24, 2005 #1
    Do you think that the 'fashion' , the 'common' methods employed in a science and the trends on it are the ones that sometimes determine what, how, where and why the things are published/cited ?
    Does this influence how the papers are written?

    Just the plain true. Because i know the moral and correct ideal answer, but as always, reality bites. What do you think?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2005 #2


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    I understand that 'trends' have to do with the choice of research topics. If a research topic isn't 'trendy', it may be difficult for you to secure funding. I don't know for sure if there are any hidden agendas with scientific papers, but I doubt it. Publishing papers in the academic world is the equivalent of doing work in other fields. Without papers and publishings, you are nothing. In fact, a fancy Ph.D from MIT or Harvard will mean less than a degree from a nowhere when you have published dozens of high citation works.
  4. Nov 24, 2005 #3
    The 'I publish...I exist' issue ;).

    Without a doubt publishing papers is the 'work' of researchers. But to Do science is their work also. Are these 2 things always the same? Or there are more things in play , more guidelines than the 'scientific method' when papers are written/published and scientific academic work is done?

    I think that the joke 'Science is my life, but i also want it as a work. If not, what i'm going to eat?' , applies sometimes

    And well, when you become involved in the scientific ambient you sometimes notice that not all is perfect and pretty. There are issues that affect academic/scientific work, although they may be non scientifical issues.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  5. Nov 24, 2005 #4


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    LOL, yes, I've met professors who don't seem to be too passionate about their field. They just publish enough to 'survive' (i.e the school requires them to publish atleast one paper in an international journal annually). The professorship just earns them a ton (atleast here at my university it does). They talk as if it's a chore, but I wouldn't know. Not there yet.
  6. Nov 25, 2005 #5
    I know that this is a 'tenebrous' topic. :devil: . But let me explain with an example its motivation

    Sometime ago i read ( i promise to search the reference) a work that critiziced some 'vices' that sometimes affect scientific research (I've said "sometimes", and that they critiziced the vices, when present, not scientific research itself). They put the example that analyzing bibliography, they'd found the case of a top cited paper that was cited in a wrong way ( a bad reference ), time after time, in a lot of papers by many different authors. They ask, How is possible that all this non-collaborating authors or research groups had made independentely the same mistake(this kind of mistake!)? Their conjetures:

    a) Well, probably these researches had not actually read the paper, just copied the reference from another paper with the wrong reference. Knowing that it was a 'top' paper', the 'trend' is to cite it.

    b) Yes, these researchers actually read the paper, but they were too lazy for searching for it in their archives and just copied the reference from another paper that had the wrong reference.

    The dissimination ocurred because another 'popular' paper had made originally the wrong citation, and then another one, and another more, and...

    The most of the papers they analized had the wrong reference. Just a few ones had the correct one. They conclude that this authors are the ones who actually read the paper. Or They were lucky to copy the reference from one
    that had the correct one. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2005
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