Science research papers are ‘content’ – to apply a marketing term – and we expect them to be ethical, thoroughly researched and the pillar of good content; the ‘paper’ a role model because it is original. If it is cited, then it’s likely to be debated and challenged from a new perspective (therefore re-introducing original thought back into the process). Such content is also highly relevant to its audience; with an ultimate objective of furthering science – an admirable cause?
Herein lies the problem. According to ‘Saving the science from scientists’ with Radio 4’s science correspondent Alok Jha, we learn that, in the competitive world of science, there is a pressure to produce papers and chase peer review targets. In fact, it has become a race to be published in the best journals or rather more, journals with the highest and broadest profile – Nature and Science were examples given. We all know what happens when we feel we need to produce more, quality drops, standards fall and short cuts are taken, and in the scientific world, the compromise on research integrity can have serious if not fatal effects.
This blog isn’t about the issues in the scientific world, it’s about quality of the written word – good content – and about trust. ‘Chasing targets instead of truths’ was one of the concluding lines of Alok Jha and many businesses feel overwhelmed by the need to communicate while some have dropped out of the process altogether. It’s time to take a step back and in the same amount of time, re-establish quality over quantity.