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Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year.

But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers.

The ranks of scientists who repeatedly published more than one paper per year thin out dramatically. Many of these prolific scientists are likely the heads of laboratories or research groups; they bring in funding, supervise research, and add their names to the numerous papers that result. Others may be scientists with enough job security and time to do copious research themselves, Ioannidis says. But there’s also a lot of grunt work behind these papers that appear like clockwork from highly productive labs. “In many disciplines, doctoral students may be enrolled in high numbers, offering a cheap workforce,” Ioannidis and his co-authors write in their paper.

The new research, published on 9 July in PLOS ONE, was led by epidemiologist John Ioannidis of Stanford University in Palo Alto. (1)

Science driven by non-scientific elements.
Science driven by directors who just “add their names” to papers.
Science driven by phD-candidates slaves.
Science driven by people who publish more than an article per year, while great scientists in the past published one book in 10 years. We have lost the measure of what science really is. Is a publication all that it takes to become a scientist? Do you really love science if all you care about is not to discover the truth but to print a paper?

As the number of published papers increases, the quality of true SCIENCE will fall.
And that is a fact.
Actually, I am planning on publishing it…