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One reason some scientists choose low-quality predatory journals- government money

What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

Journals that are the science equivalent of the vanity press. A geographer identifies a reason for the survival of predatory journals:

Why are South Africans relying so much on journals that do little or nothing to ensure quality? In an effort to boost academic productivity, the country’s education department launched a subsidy scheme in 2005. It now awards roughly US$7,000 for each research paper published in an accredited journal. Depending on the institution, up to half of this amount is paid directly to faculty members. At least one South African got roughly $40,000 for research papers published in 2016 — about 60% of a full professor’s annual salary. There is no guarantee (or expectation) that a researcher will use this money for research purposes. Most simply see it as a financial reward over and above their salaries. South African publications listed in the Scopus database each year more than doubled in the decade after the payout programme began. But the number of publications by South African researchers in predatory journals jumped more than 140-fold in the same period (J. Mouton and A. Valentine S. Afr. J. Sci. 113, 2017-0010; 2017). Clearly, many researchers in South Africa are being forced to choose: cash or quality? David William Hedding, “Payouts push professors towards predatory journals” at Nature

“Cash or quality?” might be a hard decision if there are many reasons why quality wasn’t going to happen anyway.

But always remember, doubts about science – as practiced – are always because the public is narrow and stupid, according to pundits, and doesn’t “trust science.

See also: A study of the causes of science skepticism sails right by the most obvious cause of skepticism: Repeated untrustworthiness


From Chemistry World: Forensic science is “in crisis”


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