Modern Science Has a Publish-or-Perish Problem

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from TIME Magazine,

Flaws are popping up in the peer review process.

Got a spare $14,800? If so, you can be first co-author on a new research paper about cancer. Want to add a friend? That’ll be $26,300.

Those are–or were–the going rates for bylines from a Chinese publishing outfit offering to make life easier for academics in need of a quick career boost. “The heavy labor can be left to us,” promised the sales document. “Our service can help you make progress in your academic path!”

The scam was exposed by the journal Science in a 2013 sting, but nobody pretended that that remotely meant the end of scientific fraud. As competition grows for tenured positions at universities and plum jobs at prestige hospitals, the temptation to fudge results, tweak data and invent studies wholesale has pushed some scientists to the academic dark side.

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