Good series from the University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communications on the challenges facing contemoporary scientific research. Here’s the list of articles:
- The mis-measurement problem – 11 July 2016
- The authorship problem – 12 July 2016
- Reproducibility, retractions & retrospective hypotheses – 14 July 2016
- Does peer review work? – 19 July 2016
- Solutions? – 2 August 2016
- Could Open Research benefit Cambridge University researchers? – 3 August 2016
The last is the least interesting, as it mostly surveys the preceding five, and then takes a self-centered look at the issues. But the rest are well-written and well-researched. And they lead to the inescapable conclusion that the existing system is functioning poorly. “As long as the current reward system remains, the crucial nodes will not change and we are stuck.” But the current reward system won’t change, because the people who would change it are those who were successful in it. It’s like asking rich people to manage income redistribution: it’s just not going to happen. The only reform can come from outside the system (which is why I don’t care one whit whether reforms would “benefit Cambridge University researchers).