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RE: Guardian on research publishing

I too agree with Sandy Thatcher on this.

Recasting this in my quality vs. excellence framework, I would 
say that it is indeed within the individual that the quest to go 
further, higher, etc. is really significant. Let each individual 
look for his/her most excellent papers. It is really within 
oneself that one can aspire to reach more, higher, better, etc...

At the scale of an institution, and, a fortiori, at the scale of 
"Big Science" (de Solla Price), we witness a mass production of 
knowledge that requires quality control, as in any industry. It 
is an intellectual industry. Now, if the analogy is correct, who 
has ever heard of "excellence control" in a factory?

Jean-Claude Guedon

Le jeudi 08 septembre 2011, Anthony Watkinson wrote:

> I think that Sandy does make a very important point. It must 
> have been years since Harvard made this decision and I would 
> love to know why it has not been implemented in the US where 
> often Harvard initiatives seem to be taken so seriously. In the 
> UK the RAE and now the REF, government demands that dominate UK 
> university research, only ask for four items (I think) for 
> consideration from active researchers
> Anthony
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> [mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Sandy Thatcher
> Sent: 07 September 2011 23:37
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: Guardian on research publishing
> Interestingly, this critic does not mention the one approach that
> is likely to be effective in solving the problem he notes, viz.,
> limiting the number of papers that a scholar can submit to a
> promotion-and-tenure committee. That forces scholars to select
> what they believe to be their most valuable contributions to
> scholarship, undercuts the incentive to waste time publishing
> many more papers than the number than can be submitted, and
> limits what those on the committee need to read to make their
> assessments. This approach has been implemented in a number of
> places, such as Harvard Medical School as i recall, but it should
> be much more widely adopted.
> Sandy Thatcher
>>The Guardian has a piece on the problems of research publishing
>>(part of what it appears to be an ongoing conversation at the
>>The essay calls for post-publication peer review.  The author's 
>>position is that the crisis in research publishing has come 
>>about because people are publishing material when they do not 
>>in fact have anything to say.
>>Joe Esposito