Academic publishing is more ethically complicated than you might think. From plagiarism to fraud and the ‘publish or perish’ culture at universities… Virginia Barbour thinks these are wicked problems with no easy solutions.
What do you do when a crucial knowledge system is under-resourced, highly valued and having its integrity undermined? That’s the question facing those working in academic research and publishing. There’s a risk Australians might lose trust in one of the central systems on which we rely for knowledge and innovation.
It’s one of those problems that defies easy solutions, like obesity, terrorism or a tax system to suit an entire population. Academics call these “wicked problems” – meaning they’re resistant to easy solutions, not that they are ‘evil’.