9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 9 Challenge: Researchers Are Incentivized to Be First, Not Right

The Challenge

Historically, academic institutions have mostly rewarded single actors who are the first to publish important or impactful results. Universities hired and promoted scholars based mostly on their publication records.  Agencies, such as the NIH and NSF, evaluated scholars on their publication records. This system incentivized researchers to exaggerate their individual contributions, and potentially to hoard data and hide mistakes, in the interests of competition. It might also have incentivized individual labs and researchers to work alone, even when collaborations could be better for scientific progress. How can we fix the incentives?


Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments