Saturday, October 17, 2020

Posh Publishing and why Recognition and Reward must be without

File:Posh.jpg from WikiCommons.
Earlier this week I read an article in Nature about the high APC being a problem. Yes, the publishing system is very expensive, but we also know that some publisher increase(d) the APC based on demand. Yes, the publishers do not differentiate prices between regions. Yes, the waiver concept, just by the name, is a problem. Publishing in high-impact journals is posh publishing (there is no evidence your article actually becomes more scientifically sound).

The posh publishing is a direct result of human behavior. We like posh. We learn to dress posh, to act posh. This is strongly embedded on Western culture. It's gender independent. We all like posh. The posh-fetish goes deep. Very deep.

Why do we want to be posh. Well, that answer is given in the comment: Why does a high-impact publication matter so much for a career in research? As long as we keep seeing posh as better for your career, plenty of people will be more than happy to pay for it. We're all humans. We're suckers for pain.

Therefore, in the VSNU Recognition and Reward we must compensate for this human behavior. Is that weird? Not at all. Many academic habits are important to overcome human nature. For example, we have to force ourselves to overcome our flaws. What can we do?

  1. recognize and reward all research output (software, data, standards, policies, advises, grant deliverables, open standards)
  2. recognize and reward particularly activities that focus on removing the posh from the science
  3. learn to recognize your flaws, your biases, your poshness
Happy saturday!