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Sci Eng Ethics. 2007 Dec;13(4):437-61. Epub 2007 Nov 21.

The perverse effects of competition on scientists' work and relationships.

Author information

1
Department of Educational Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. mand@umn.edu

Abstract

Competition among scientists for funding, positions and prestige, among other things, is often seen as a salutary driving force in U.S. science. Its effects on scientists, their work and their relationships are seldom considered. Focus-group discussions with 51 mid- and early-career scientists, on which this study is based, reveal a dark side of competition in science. According to these scientists, competition contributes to strategic game-playing in science, a decline in free and open sharing of information and methods, sabotage of others' ability to use one's work, interference with peer-review processes, deformation of relationships, and careless or questionable research conduct. When competition is pervasive, such effects may jeopardize the progress, efficiency and integrity of science.

PMID:
18030595
DOI:
10.1007/s11948-007-9042-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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