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Question

Salami publishing refers to the practice of splitting scientific work into overly small pieces (least publishable units) and publishing a separate paper about each.

I am looking for a term for the opposite practice, i.e., lumping together a lot of or too much scientific work into one paper.

  • I prefer terms that can be understood (by a suitable audience) without further explanation. Essentially, I want something less cumbersome than opposite of salami publishing.

  • I have no strong preference regarding the tone of the term. E.g., it can be derogatory (but doesn’t need to be).

  • I am open to neologisms, but please consider the first point.

Background

This term would be useful for me to talk about the publishing culture in biology (or certain subfields thereof), where new relevant methods often do not get papers on their own, but are only published as the appendix to some paper that is primarily about findings achieved with that method.

  • 1
    "Hot mess" as in everything is chucked in and cooked... – Solar Mike Aug 4 '18 at 9:25
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    Isn't a sausage the food where you cram as much bits and pieces as you can in an artificial intestine? – user9646 Aug 4 '18 at 11:44
  • @NajibIdrissi Right. The reason for the term in use here is that it was originally "salami slicing", referring to slicing the research into as tiny pieces as possible. – Tobias Kildetoft Aug 4 '18 at 14:08
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    @TobiasKildetoft I know, I was making a joke :( – user9646 Aug 4 '18 at 14:42
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    @DSVA: This is not a good place to have a debate about whether this is actually a good or a bad thing (I will ping you in chat). However, in some other fields, papers which focus on a method (which doesn’t mean no application) are pretty common and nobody would accuse them of salami publishing. – Wrzlprmft Aug 4 '18 at 20:43
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I call it "kitchen sink publishing." I apply the term to papers which contain redundant methods for determining the result.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/everything_but_the_kitchen_sink

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Disclaimer: This answer is full of tongue-in-cheek neologisms ;-)

I would like to stay in the context of food and suggest

Gluttony publishing (more derogatory)

or

Banquet publishing (less derogatory).

You could even go as far as labeling the publication itself as banquet as in the following sentence.

He has just written a banquet paper of 40 pages. He could have easily salami sliced it into 5 papers. Doesn't he know that for most grants only the number of publications counts?

A slightly different term would be a buffet paper denoting a paper that is a collection of not necessarily tightly coupled topics where everyone can pick what he likes. It can also refer to a paper that is written to suit everybody.

  • I left mine as a comment :) but yes there are relevant terms... – Solar Mike Aug 4 '18 at 10:39
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This depends on what you mean by "opposite". If you treat "salami publishing" as an extreme, then the more ordinary case (by far) is just "publishing". It needs no adjective.

However, if you mean the opposite extreme, consider the following. Sometimes a field will have a period of intense work with a large number of (possibly) relatively small results. After that period ends or at least the rate of advancement slows, someone may decide to "consolidate" what has been recently learned in a summative paper that will have many references and a new top-level view of the field as it is then known. "Consolidation" and "Unification" are good terms for that sort of publication. Such a publication is a great resource for new researchers in the field (say, new PhD students).

However, if you require a food metaphor, try paella. Of course it is best savored in Andalusia. And I guess that if you need an explanation about why this is a good metaphor you haven't tried to make (or eat) it.

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I propose smorgasbord publishing.

Merriam-Webster defines smorgasbord as:

  1. a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (such as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes)

  2. an often large heterogeneous mixture : mélange

Seems appropriate.

  • Or of course the more "original" smörgåsbord (waiting for audio samples of people trying to pronounce it...). – Tobias Kildetoft Aug 7 '18 at 15:08
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I had a mentor who did this a lot and I referred to it as "Magnum Opus Publishing", where the objective is to have a singular publication of such heartbreaking insight and magnitude that it encapsulates an entire research question in a single work.

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A term with the positive connotation of completeness: All-in-one-publication.

A term with a slightly negative connotation of "good, but too much": The paper is an embarrassment of riches.

A term with a negative connotation: Overkill publication.

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Would 'syncretic publishing' come close? Syncretic is generally used in religious studies to denote a mixture of different faiths/traditions in an unstructured manner. The structured version of this would be 'synthesis'.

Religious connotation aside, syncretic is a legitimate philosophical idea by itself. I haven't found an instance of it being used to describe academic publishing though.

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    Thank you for your answer, but I do not think that syncretic or synthetic would be easily understood as you intend. Without any context, the first thought that comes to my mind is that this is about an interdisciplinary paper. – Wrzlprmft Aug 4 '18 at 11:19
  • Hmm, interdisciplinary is a fair interpretation. Hope you find something less ambiguous :) – user153812 Aug 4 '18 at 17:01

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