Why did you write that paper?

Some choice quotes from Peter Lawrence in PLOS Biology.

On productivity

[N]o longer are communication and record the primary purposes of publishing; instead, we now use papers as tokens to get jobs and funding.

On impact metrics

[O]nly false objectivity is offered by evaluating real people using unreal calculations with numbers of papers, citations, and journal impact factors. These calculations have not only demoralised and demotivated the scientific community, they have also redirected our research and vitiated its purpose.

On large lab groups

The peculiar demands of our granting system have favoured an upper class of skilled scientists who know how to raise money for a big group. They have mastered a glass bead game that rewards not only quality and honesty, but also salesmanship and networking. A large group is the secret because applications are currently judged in a way that makes it almost immaterial how many of that group fail, so long as two or three do well. Data from these successful underlings can be cleverly packaged to produce a flow of papers—essential to generate an overlapping portfolio of grants to avoid gaps in funding.