What if everyone were allowed to publish just 20 articles in his/her entire scientific career?
Nature Medicine presents this paradigm-shifting (submit to EUREKA!) proposal as a solution to the power and money problems in scientific publishing. They offer an intriguing chain of events that might be set in motion:
“If we adopted this model, many articles reporting incremental advances would no longer be written, and many specialized journals would disappear. And with far fewer papers to read, each one reporting a much more complete piece of research, search committees or funding bodies could directly evaluate the work of a given scientist, instead of (as is often the case) leaning on surrogate indicators such as a journal’s impact factor or number of citations.”
The editors go on to recognize tweaks that would likely be required to accommodate this model … all interesting food for thought that whets the appetite for more. Perhaps recruiting institutions would look for those young promising scientists with plenty of allowed publications remaining versus those with bloated CVs. Ditto for sponsors – and the number of grant awards one PI could take on would be curtailed in parallel fashion. Eureka indeed.