Identifier 151202
TitleThe Least Interesting Unit: A New Concept for Enhancing One’s Academic Career Opportunities
Type of publicationarticle
Author(s)M.J.T.F. Cabbolet
KeywordsLeast publishable unit, research ethics, scientific quality
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
SourceScience and Engineering Ethics 22(6), 1837-1841
Publication date2016-11-17
AbstractMotivated by a current development in the physics community, this paper introduces the notion of a Least Interesting Unit (LIU) in research as an investigation that is just interesting enough to pursue. A new general maxim for science is then that a researcher should pursue as many LIUs as possible. Although fulfilling this maxim enhances one's perspective for a career in the present publish-or-perish academic world, in particular when simultaneously publishing one's results in the form of as many Least Publishable Units as possible, this paper concludes that it is an example of an unethical practice: it may undermine scientific progress, it may lead to a waste of valuable resources, and it may contribute to an erosion of norms and values in science.
CopyrightSpringer Science+Business Media