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Just as the Slow Food Movement criticized the inferior quality of fast food, the emerging Slow Science Movement says the rate at which scientists are pressured to publish makes for low quality science. Last year, scientists and scientific journal editors published The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, which "recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scientific research are evaluated." Scientists who support Slow Science want more time to carry out their research and more time to publish their results. Both, they argue, will make for better, more creative science.
What's the Big Idea?
The scientific community currently prioritizes researchers, in terms of granting funding and giving awards, who publish more often in what are called "high impact" journals, e.g. Nature and Science. "The problem is that this assessment method leads researchers, and especially the younger ones, to produce a large quantity of articles so as to reach a certain quota of citations," explains University of Strasbourg chemist Jean-François Lutz. "The system thus favors superficial studies instead of meticulous work, and sometimes leads to fraud or results that are impossible to reproduce."