Policy ForumScience Policy

Changing Incentives to Publish

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Science  05 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6043, pp. 702-703
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197286

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Many national governments have implemented policies providing incentives for researchers to publish, especially in highly ranked international journals. Although still the top publishing nation, the United States has seen its share of publications decline from 34.2% in 1995 to 27.6% in 2007 as the number of articles published by U.S. scientists and engineers has plateaued and that of other countries has grown (1, 2). Hicks (3) argues that the two events are not unrelated: The decline in the relative performance of the United States relates to increased international competition engendered by newly adopted incentives that have crowded out some work by U.S. authors.