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Production of scientific work is regulated by reward systems. Scientists are typically rewarded for publishing articles, obtaining grants, and claiming novel, significant results. However, emphasis on publication can lead to least publishable units, authorship inflation, and potentially irreproducible results. Emphasis on claiming significant results leads to lack of publication of nonsignificant high-quality studies or to massaging data to obtain “positive” results. Emphasis on novelty leaves no incentives to spend resources on replicating prior findings to probe their correctness. Data owners have a publishing advantage without incentives to share with competitor scientists.
Ioannidis JPA, Khoury MJ. Assessing Value in Biomedical ResearchThe PQRST of Appraisal and Reward. JAMA. 2014;312(5):483-484. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6932