"First, there is the nature of scientific reporting. It has become vital to get papers into high impact-factor journals; just one such paper can change the prospects of a postdoc from nonexistent to substantial (because of the weight put on such papers by grant-awarding bodies). Two or three such papers can make the difference between unemployment and tenure. These facts have cut a swathe through scientific thinking like a forest fire, turning our thoughts and efforts away from scientific problems and solutions, and towards the process of submission, reviewing and publication. Grisly stories of papers that have been bounced down a cascade of journals from high impact factor to lower and lower ones are now the main dish of scientific discourse. It is not unusual for a scientist to spend as much as a year trying to get a paper first past editors and then reviewers, and if rejected, recrafting the paper to get round the more trenchant criticisms, writing tortuously argued rebuttals, and then hounding editors to find a more sympathetic reviewer. If these tactics fail with one journal, they doggedly re-enter battle with the next. This is a massive waste of time and energy that, even so, can bring career rewards. Therefore, I would like the granting agencies to investigate the time and effort leaders of the groups that they fund are spending on this paper chase — for these agencies are largely responsible for it. Would it not make more sense if, from the beginning, a paper were sent to a journal that was likely to accept it? The idea that one should treat publication as some kind of all-comers boxing challenge is relatively recent."
Artiklen "The Mismeasurement of Science" stod at læse i tidskriftet Current Biology, 7. august, 2007: vol. 17 (no.15), p. r583-r585. Har man ikke lige dette ved hånden, kan artiklen downloades her. Bør læses af alle, ikke mindst alle forskningspolitikere, universitetsledere og forskningssystemets management-lag.