At my Royal Society Induction, I had the great pleasure to see a talk by Prof. Ottoline Leyser on the UK research culture. Ottoline discussed the findings from the 2014 Nuffield Research culture report, which is very worthy of a read.
The two findings that caught my interest most were:
“Attempts to assess the societal and/or economic impact of research are welcomed by some, but others believe this is creating a culture of short-termism and is pushing aside interest in curiosity-driven research, as well as resulting in researchers exaggerating the potential application of research in grant proposals”
“The perception that publishing in high impact factor journals is the most important element in assessments for funding, jobs and promotions is creating a strong pressure on scientists to publish in these journals. This is believed to be resulting in important research not being published, disincentives for multidisciplinary research, authorship issues, and a lack of recognition for non-article research outputs. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is thought to be a key driver of the pressure to publish in high impact journals.”