Gaming (the system)

Definition: Adopting questionable research practices (QRPs, e.g., salami slicing of an academic paper) that would align with academic incentive structures that benefit the academic (e.g. in prestige, hiring, or promotion) regardless of whether they support the process of scholarship. If systems rely on metrics to determine an outcome (e.g. academic credit) those metrics can be subject to intentional manipulation (Naudet et al., 2018) or “gamed”. Where promotions, hiring, and tenure are based on flawed metrics they may disfavor openness, rigor, and transparent work (Naudet et al., 2018) - for example favoring “quantity over quality” - and exacerbate existing inequalities.

Related terms: Incentive structure, Journal Impact Factor, P-hacking

References: Moher et al. (2018), & Naudet et al. (2018)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Adrien Fillon, Sarah Ashcroft-Jones, Helena Hartmann, Sam Parsons, Charlotte R. Pennington

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