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Developing nations should avoid 'slow science'

According to an article published on SciDev.Net , scientists in developing countries should increase the quality of their research by publishing more good papers, not fewer, says Rafael Loyola.

Scientists in the developing world are under growing pressure to publish more every year. Some would argue that these quantitative metrics are promoting a scientific distortion, in which quantity prevails over quality — that is, publishing papers in journals with high impact factors.

In certain developing countries, the ability of researchers or institutions to obtain funding is closely related to their productivity, measured as the number of scientific papers they publish.

Since Brazil started applying this metric in the 2000s to evaluate researchers' performance, its science has improved, with a greater number of papers published in high-impact-factor journals and new research networks established.

The global Slow Science movement seeks to move away from an emphasis on productivity.

It claims that pressure to publish leaves scientists with insufficient time to think about important issues that require in-depth discussion and reflection, such as poverty alleviation and the development of a cancer vaccine.

But while such a movement may be attractive to some, it should be applied with caution in countries where research capabilities are still developing.

I believe that slow science does not work for developing countries.

Read more on SciDev.Net

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