The scientific method is used to approach a problem logically and come to reasonable conclusion based off the presented evidence. Allow me to present the following question: if only a small percentage of scientists publish their work, does that not distort scientific information? Let us approach this problem in the same manner that Erik Stokstad did in his Science Magazine article “The 1% Of Scientific Publishing.”
Stokstad already knew it was tough to get published in a scientific journal, but his findings were that one percent of scientists actually see their work published on a continuous basis and that equals 150,608 people. The number comes from a study done by John Ioannidis of Stanford University when he and colleagues searched Elsevier’s Scopus database of papers published in 1996-2001. Most of these scientists head laboratories, thusly adding their name to every research project or they have garnered enough of a reputation to do whatever they want in the scientific community.
What is sad is that new minds are often overlooked:
“But there’s also a lot of grunt work behind these papers that appear like clockwork from highly productive labs. ‘In many disciplines, doctoral students may be enrolled in high numbers, offering a cheap workforce,’ Ioannidis and his co-authors write in their paper. These students may spend years on research that yields, then, only one or a few papers. ‘[I]n these cases, the research system may be exploiting the work of millions of young scientists.’ ”
Based on the findings, it leads to the conclusion that only a small percentage of scientific research is available. The results are distorted and favor one side of the scale. It is an aggravating thought, especially with digital publishing. You would think that with the infinite amount of digital space that publishers would not be worried about the paper copies anymore.
Whitney Grace, July 30, 2014