CORRESPONDENCE

Research reports: An open market for scientific verbiage?

It strikes me that Brian Martinson’s suggestion to put a lifetime cap on the number of words published by scientists could be enhanced by the addition of a ‘trade’ option, as with carbon-offset credits (see Nature 550, 303; 2017). That way, those scientists who are economical with their publication count and strategic with their word choices could sell their excess word allocation to the highest bidder.

One wonders how much could be collected through an open market in scientific verbiage for expressions such as ‘it is easily shown that’ or ‘we applied the standard statistical analyses to the data’ or ‘we conclude that more observations are required’.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-06031-3
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