Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Education Science

Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing 123

sciencehabit writes Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here's some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year. But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers. Students, meanwhile, may spend years on research that yields only one or a few papers. "[I]n these cases, the research system may be exploiting the work of millions of young scientists," the authors conclude.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

Comments Filter:
  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @05:37PM (#47444787) Homepage Journal

    ...and a negative one at that.

    Could it ever possibly be that these scientists who "dominate" the scientific publishing are actually worthy of such a thing?

    Indeed. And besides, compared to the star system in Hollywood, for example, this is downright democratic.

    The intellectual penury that comes with serving with a leader in a given field seems to be gladly endured by most young researchers. This story ignores the fact that, although the senior researcher's name may be at the top of the paper, the junior researcher's name is right there below it.

    It's a bit like an actor accepting a lesser credit in order to appear in a bigger film.

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @05:48PM (#47444839)
    All that stuff in science textbooks has been the consensus of scientists for years. How else are you going to decide what to put in a textbook beside consensus? Just put in your textbook things you would like to believe are true?
  • Re:host file apk (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @05:55PM (#47444875) Homepage Journal

    1% Elitism is EVERYWHERE.

  • No sh*t (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Sunday July 13, 2014 @06:01PM (#47444903) Homepage

    Junior guys in [field] aren't as well known as senior guys and do most of the grunt work.

    Film at 11.

  • flawed methodology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tommeke100 ( 755660 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @07:03PM (#47445169)
    They took a publications database between 1996 and 2011, which contains about 15,000,000 authors.
    There they found only 150,000 published every of those years.
    Of course not all of those 15 million have been working in research for 16 years. Most graduate/PhD students are in research for 5 years and then they need to find another job.
    Actually most people at my company were author or co-author of a paper at some point, and we only published because of some grants that required it.
    So if you take out the people who really only have a couple of publications, or published for a small period of time, the picture will be completely different.
    Take into account that you need people who's career actually span the 1996-2011 period (which filters out probably like 30% of people genuinely having a successfull academic career), and they actually paint a realistic picture of who the profs are or research leads.
  • by gwstuff ( 2067112 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @08:20PM (#47445505)

    99% of review committees for conferences and editorial boards on journals are made up of that 1% of elite scientists. So the guys who decide which papers get published and which get crumpled and tossed into the bin are from the one who, by the way, do most of the publishing.

    Having been in research for 15+ years, everyone knows that it's one big collusion of people promoting each other and excluding the rest. *Everyone* knows this. If a researcher pretends not to understand this or dismisses it then he's bullshitting you. Yes. It is depressing. Oh, and while I was actively publishing I was in the 1%...

  • by Beck_Neard ( 3612467 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @09:07PM (#47445737)

    Because it's almost literally impossible for someone to actually put in all of the work required to publish hundreds of papers during their career. A paper might typically take six months of gruelling, full-time work. Instead of actually doing the work, what a lot of scientists do is they bring in a lot of students and act as project supervisors, as it says in the article: "Many of these prolific scientists are likely the heads of laboratories or research groups; they bring in funding, supervise research, and add their names to the numerous papers that result." In other words, they drop in for maybe half an hour every two weeks or so to get an 'update' (without really understanding anything), throw around some bs pieces of 'advice' (which everyone ignores) and then leave.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2014 @01:15AM (#47446721)

    I had a conversation about this with a guy at work 2 days before this article was posted. With the professor I had this was not the case, however some of the other professors at my school had this kind of attitude. Most professors\scientists write grants and spend most of their time doing that and the students do most of the work, as long as the students get credit on the paper for it and get paid (cash or stipend), it doesn't matter. If your a student and not getting paid, find something else to do. I have a problem with academics because it seems like its becoming more of a dog and pony show, when it should be doing research that benefits society Some of the scientists don't even review the paper and have their buddies slap there name on it, they get credit for something that they didn't do. People more and more these days want to get something and not do the work. Finance people want to get money regardless of the means or if their investing in actual companies. Scientists want to be recognized for work they didn't do. Even the guy at the local fast food joint wants better pay without getting a better education and\or a better job. Don't even get me started on politicians...

  • by stranger_to_himself ( 1132241 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @07:19AM (#47447535) Journal

    ...what a lot of scientists do is they bring in a lot of students and act as project supervisors, as it says in the article: "Many of these prolific scientists are likely the heads of laboratories or research groups; they bring in funding, supervise research, and add their names to the numerous papers that result."..

    But bringing in funding is in fact the bulk of the 'scientific' work. To bring in funding you must have a good research idea, a detailed research plan, the political nous to persuade others that it is worth spending money on, and then the management ability to make sure your ideas are followed through by the post-docs and students that you recruit to follow the plan. Of course you should get your name on the resulting publication.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.