A lot has been written already about Randy Schekman column in the Guardian. The first paragraph criticizes the flawed incentives structure of the research professional world.
I am a scientist. Mine is a professional world that achieves great things for humanity. But it is disfigured by inappropriate incentives. The prevailing structures of personal reputation and career advancement mean the biggest rewards often follow the flashiest work, not the best. Those of us who follow these incentives are being entirely rational – I have followed them myself – but we do not always best serve our profession’s interests, let alone those of humanity and society. […]
The importance as well as the (many) shortcomings of his piece and the potential conflict of interest have been noted. One feature of the response on Twitter is that some of the critique ends up proving his point, i.e. that the pressure to publish in such journals is enormous and has a direct (and disproportionate) effect on careers, e.g.:
@guardianscience if I did the same (boycott vanity pubs) my group would feel their careers at risk & ambitious researchers would not come.
— Prof. Lee Cronin (@leecronin) December 9, 2013
Great news, Schekman postdocs! Search committees have announced that the journals in which you publish won’t matter to them anymore! #lie
— Christopher J Cramer (@ChemProfCramer) December 11, 2013
At least, that is something everybody – critics or supporters of Scheman’s move – seem to agree upon…