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Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable

Heesen, Remco (2018) Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable. The Journal of Philosophy, 115 (12). pp. 661-674. ISSN 0022-362X

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Abstract

Recent philosophical work has praised the reward structure of science, while recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. I argue that the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work, thus contributing to the so-called reproducibility crisis. I 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. Currently proposed solutions will not fully address this problem. Philosophical commentators should temper their optimism about the reward structure of science.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Heesen, Remcoremco.heesen@uwa.edu.au0000-0003-3823-944X
Additional Information: A preprint is available from my website http://remcoheesen.eu
Keywords: Philosophy of science; Social epistemology; Formal epistemology; Reproducibility; Pressure to publish; Credit economy
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
General Issues > Science Policy
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 16:29
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 16:29
Item ID: 15575
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Philosophy
Publisher: The Journal of Philosophy, Inc
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/jphil20181151239
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5840/jphil20181151239
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
General Issues > Science Policy
Date: December 2018
Page Range: pp. 661-674
Volume: 115
Number: 12
ISSN: 0022-362X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15575

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