Friday, April 03, 2009

Publishing as Prostitution?

Survival in academia depends on publications in refereed journals. Authors only get their papers accepted if they intellectually prostitute themselves by slavishly following the demands made by anonymous referees who have no property rights to the journals they advise. Intellectual prostitution is neither beneficial to suppliers nor consumers. But it is avoidable. The editor (with property rights to the journal) should make the basic decision of whether a paper is worth publishing or not. The referees should only offer suggestions for improvement. The author may disregard this advice. This reduces intellectual prostitution and produces more original publications.

That's Bruno S. Frey in Public Choice 116:205-23, 2003. Amusing read. This post's title steals the paper's.

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