Publish Or Perish

Lee Hadden writes "There is an interesting article by Mohamed Gad-el-Hak in the March
2004 issue of Physics Today. It concerns the "Publish or Perish" syndrome
in science, and how we are being overwhelmed in libraries by mediocre and
over- valued academic work. He suggests, among other things, better
choosing of journals for libraries, and the publication of impact factors
for scientific journals.

See the article at: http://www.aip.org/pt/vol-57/iss-3/p61.html"

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mediocre work

"we are being overwhelmed in libraries by mediocre and over- valued academic work"

I have no doubt the need to publish to get ahead has cause a proliferation of both journals and poor writers. I recall one time being a peer reviewer for a journal and receiving a 5 page article for which I wrote 10 pages of suggestions.

However, it may not be such a new phenomenon. During a withdrawal project I decided to critically examine for withdrawal the science monographs and "cat as mono" serials in my library that were older than 20 years. I was surprised to see how many had never circulated. I retained those that were valuable as "history of science" or with outstanding illustrations, with which the older books often outperformed the newer.

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