January 21, 2022

Report: “China Bans Cash Rewards For Publishing Papers”

From Science:

Chinese institutions have been told to stop paying researchers bonuses for publishing in journals, as part of a new national policy to cut perverse incentives that encourage scientists to publish lots of papers rather than focus on high-impact work.

In an order released last week, China’s science and education ministries also say that institutions must not promote or recruit researchers solely on the basis of the number of papers they publish, or their citations. Researchers are welcoming the policy, but say that it could reduce the country’s competitiveness in science.


These practices have incentivized researchers to publish lots of papers at the expense of quality, says Jin Xuan, a chemical engineer at Loughborough University, UK. Evidence suggests that the focus on metrics has also driven a rise in inappropriate practices, such as researchers submitting plagiarized or fraudulent papers, or inappropriately citing their own or a colleague’s work to boost citations.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.