Nobel Prize Winner Starts a Boycott of Top Science Journals

by Max Andrews

After this I feel a huge sigh of relief coming… A relief that science hasn’t been hijacked by the one-track minded aristocrats of scholarship who only want to monologue. Remember what happened to Einstein and Higgs’ first major papers that led to amazing theories and confirmations? Oh, yeah…

Source: The Guardian

Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a “tyranny” that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Schekman said pressure to publish in “luxury” journals encouraged researchers to cut corners and pursue trendy fields of science instead of doing more important work. The problem was exacerbated, he said, by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash.

The prestige of appearing in the major journals has led the Chinese Academy of Sciences to pay successful authors the equivalent of $30,000 (£18,000). Some researchers made half of their income through such “bribes”, Schekman said in an interview.

Writing in the Guardian, Schekman raises serious concerns over the journals’ practices and calls on others in the scientific community to take action.

“I have published in the big brands, including papers that won me a Nobel prize. But no longer,” he writes. “Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals.”

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2 Comments to “Nobel Prize Winner Starts a Boycott of Top Science Journals”

  1. Max, glad to have found your blog. I am a friend of Hezekiah Domowski, and lover of philosophy, theology, and science as well. I look forward to reading through your posts and commenting my thoughts.

    Matthew

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