Finn Kleckner
B21 Scholar
|
Fall
2024
Enhancing academic publishing through alternative incentive systems
B21 Scholar
Fall
2024

Background

My project is centered around finding improvements to the current system of academic publishing. The motivation stems from two main places. My initial interest was provoked after learning about fudged research during the development of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. As it turns out, corporate fudging of research data is not uncommon, Purdue Pharma disrupted the lives of millions by rolling out Oxycontin under false pretenses supported by "academic research". This led me to ask myself how is this possible? The answer is that the credibility of academic research is subjectively evaluated. To steal the words of my collaborator, the currency of science is not knowledge but peer-review. Peer review is the process in which scientific research is validated and ultimately published. The second factor of my motivation I found after minimal research. Published researchers by-and-large detest the peer-review process. It takes a long time, they don't receive compensation, often there are high barriers of entry, and the list goes on.The scope of this project is large and it is in the narrowing process. One direction is to create a framework for distilling research into Minimal Publishable Units (MPUs) such that essential pieces of evidence can be identified and validated. The idea is to give the ability to connect data together on a broad scope by showing provenance ultimately facilitating transparency. Another direction is to develop software allowing scientists to utilize AI to speed up publishing-related work. Yet another approach is to create an alternative system of authority that improves upon the bias existent in the current system while retaining the necessary elements. This likely includes creating some system involving anonymity and credit rewards.

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