Incentives to Publish

South Korean scientists who publish in top-flight journals like Science and Nature receive a $2800 bonus from their government. Turkish scientists who do the same can count on a bonus worth 7.5% of their salary. Other countries reward institutions for publication rates.

Researchers have now looked at whether such incentives have resulted in a greater publication success. Of the 110,870 original research articles submitted to Science over the last 10 years, first authors came from 144 different countries. 7.3% of submissions were accepted.

The study concludes that cash incentives indeed increase journal submissions, but not necessarily acceptance. Rewarding publication with career promotion leads to both greater submission and acceptance rates. Their findings suggest that monetary bonuses are enough to affect the quantity of research, but to improve quality, more symbolic prizes are needed.

first authors from 144 different countries submitted 110,870 original research articles; 7.3% of these submissions were accepted for publication, with first authors from 53 different countries

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