Big moves to rebuild the scientific infrastructure are possible.
Five years ago, I was part of a small group of ‘activists’ who convinced the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), where I work, to try out a set of reforms intended to improve the trustworthiness, usefulness and ethics of research. Things grew from there: three years ago, with the help of government grants and some nudging by a retired local politician, we secured €2.5 million (US$2.9 million) per year for efforts to build up incentives and technologies that increase rigour.
A thoroughly impressive example of a researcher-driven push to reward quality over quantity. This is how to drive research culture positively rather than turn learned institutions into sausage factories. We have included links to eleven related items.
From the beginning, we presumed that researchers and clinician–scientists are skilled professionals who want to ‘do the right thing’ but are also under pressure to accrue publications to advance their careers. Doing quality research takes time and humility, so unless we changed the system, researchers who pursued quality-enhancing practices could have found themselves at a disadvantage.