After Fraud: Metrics and the New Scientific Misconduct

16 Feb 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Mario Biagioli
Distinguished Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Law, & History, Director, Center for Science & Innovation Studies, Co-Director, Innovating Communication in Scholarship Project, UC Davis

Academic misconduct has traditionally been tied to the stress generated by the “publish or perish” culture and, more recently, to the new opportunities offered by electronic publishing. I argue, instead, that misconduct is undergoing a radical qualitative transformation, adapting itself to modern metrics-based regimes of academic evaluation and the new incentives and opportunities they provide. We are transitioning, so to speak, from “publish or perish” to “impact or perish.” These changes are affecting the practices as well as the discourse and conceptualization of misconduct. Traditional definitions of misconduct were rooted in oppositions between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, honest mistake and fabrication, but some of the new metrics-based misconduct could be seen as a form of gaming rather than a clear violation of ethical norms or laws. The new metrics-based forms of misconduct are thus challenging us to redefine misconduct, but they are also, at the same time, asking us to rethink what we mean by “publication.”

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS

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