Science is a process. We tack towards discovery, towards truth, because the process encourages curiosity, critical thinking, experimentation, correction, and, at least in recent years, competition. When it runs properly, the process as a whole, over the course of time, is trustworthy. To be sure, individual scientists misbehave and scientific works are riddled with problems, but the process seeks truth.
This interesting Scholarly Kitchen piece reflects on how our needs from science and research outputs are changing, what is driving questionable behaviour and the vital importance of public trust. In our experience, trust is hard to build, is easy to lose and almost impossible to regain. Our approach needs to change. We need to stop incentivising bad behaviour and recognise positive behaviour. We need systems that safeguard the sanctity of the scholarly record, not protect the reputation of institutions. We have included links to 21 related items.
In earlier eras, the distinction between scientific communication with peers and public communication of science was greater. Over the past two decades, one of the underlying rationales of the open access movement has been that the general public should have ready and free access to the scientific record. As we begin to better understand the second-order consequences of openness, we must grapple more systematically with how they can be addressed.