Citations and Quality

Simon M. Brocklehurst smb at bioch.ox.ac.uk
Mon Jan 22 13:23:19 EST 1996


Alexander Berezin wrote:
> 
> BEREZIN:
> Yes, I consider all the above factors, and nonetheless
> maintainn that the estimate 90 % is still quite robust.
> Even the legacy of great scientists can be adequately
> presented in 10 to 30 papers in many cases (for Einstein
> probally in about 10). So, the publication lists of
> some 300-400 lifetime papers are inflated by about the
> factor of 10 (and of course, not only for 'great'
> scientists).

   No.  If one is to publish in such a way as to allow others
a reasonable chance of repeating a piece of work, one can't
simply summarize many years of research in a few pages.
Also, many people find writing up their work for publication an
invaluable exercise i.e. it's a good way of forcing you to think 
carefully about the work you've been doing and to put it properly in
context.
   And... has it ever occurred to you that plenty of people don't 
feel that they are somehow being _forced_ to publish their work?  They
actually enjoy it!

> And remenber: NON-junk rate of ca. 10 % is still
> quite high.

  Well I don't agree with you that 10% non-junk is a 
high figure.  But because you appear to think so, perhaps
you will agree that the current system of peer review works
effectively, and that there is, therefore, no need to abandon 
it?
_____________________________________________________________________________
|
|  ,_ o     Simon M. Brocklehurst,
| /  //\,   Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences, Department of Biochemistry,
|   \>> |   University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
|    \\,    E-mail: smb at bioch.ox.ac.uk | WWW: http://www.ocms.ox.ac.uk/~smb/ 
|____________________________________________________________________________



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