Imad A. Moosa, Publish or Perish. Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences, Edward Elgar, 2018
Contents: Preface 1. Publish or Perish: Origin and Perceived Benefits 2. Consequences of POP: Research Quality and Dissemination of Knowledge 3. Consequences of POP: The Journal Industry and Authorship Pattern 4. Consequences of POP: Reserach Misconduct 5. The Citation Approach to Journal Ranking 6. Other Approaches to a Hazardous Endeavour 7. The Peer-Review Process 8. Journal Ranking Schemes 9. The Ranking Craze: From Journals to Universities and Departments 10. The Way Forward Index
Imad Moosa’s thought-provoking book explores the contemporary doctrine that plagues the academic sphere: the principle of publish or perish. This book identifies the pressures placed upon academics to either publish their work regularly, or suffer the consequences, including lack of promotion, or even redundancy.
Imad Moosa argues that this concept is a result of globalisation and the neo-liberal idea of treating higher education as a private good. Providing one of the first extensive analyses of this doctrine, the author identifies the overwhelmingly negative unintended consequences stemming from the pressure to publish research. He explores the detrimental effects of this burden, which includes the impact of drawing away the focus from educating students, to the declining quality of published research. The hazardous activity of journal ranking and resource-wasting research evaluation programmes are also considered, with the author ultimately proposing that the solution to this controversial issue is to go back to days gone by, prior to the dominance of the free market ideology.
“Publish or perish” is the most significant of all the pressures on young academics. It underpins success with research grants, outreach, impact, prize-winning, promotion and job-security. It distorts incentives by prioritising some research outputs, such as “four-star” papers, over others, such as monographs. Here at last is a book that explains how this oppressive system developed, what sustains it, and where it is likely to lead. It is an indispensable survivor’s guide to modern academia.’
– Mark Casson, University of Reading, UK
‘Professor Moosa brings his analytical skills and extensive research experience to bear on, in this case, the evolution of academic and scientific research. His lucid writing and analysis explains the growth of and contradictions in the “publish or perish” research model, illuminated by striking examples from finance, chemistry, medicine and many other disciplines. He demonstrates how this model has actually been detrimental to research. The book is essential reading for researchers and research granting bodies in all countries.’
– Greg O’Brien, La Trobe University, Australia
Innovative, provocative, and timely, this book will be a stimulating read for academics worldwide, as well as non-university researchers, university administrators, policymakers and government officials operating within the fields of higher education, science, and technology.