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Expediting the Flow of Knowledge Versus Rushing into Print

Heesen, Remco (2018) Expediting the Flow of Knowledge Versus Rushing into Print. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. By itself, this does not entail that there is a problem (or a "reproducibility crisis"). However, I argue that there is a problem: the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work. I illustrate this using a well-known failure of reproducibility: Fleischmann and Pons' work on cold fusion. I then use a rational choice model to identify a set of sufficient conditions for this problem to arise, and I argue that these conditions plausibly apply to a wide range of research situations. In the conclusion I consider possible solutions and implications for how Fleischmann and Pons' work should be evaluated.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Heesen, Remcoremco.heesen@uwa.edu.au0000-0003-3823-944X
Additional Information: For proofs of the theorems mentioned in "Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable", please refer to appendix A.
Keywords: Philosophy of science; Reproducibility; Social epistemology; Formal epistemology; Pressure to publish; Cold fusion
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 18:32
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2018 18:32
Item ID: 15161
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: 15 October 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15161

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