New answers tagged

1

Your advisor's advice is probably worth taking. They know you better than we do. But your current goal is to get a doctorate. The specific sub field is less important than that goal. You can always take up a different specialty later if it isn't too different. Find a path to success. Examine the obstacles (exams, ...) and find a way through them. You may ...


3

The other answers here are excellent, and I won't bother repeating them. One more obscure possibility is that some of these are "defensive publications." A company can develop a proprietary technique and not consider it worth patenting, but are concerned that a competitor may patent it and deny it to them. If disclosed in a publicly available ...


-1

Publication worthiness is a condition of most funded academic research work. This results in a lot of papers each year on every field. There is nothing wrong with that. But maybe we need to categorize our journals better as regards the seminality of the work presented. This is not to say that papers particularizing or generalizing existing findings, those ...


7

Publishing peer-reviewed papers has replaced answering research questions as the main goal of the research enterprise, and scientists are pressured to publish even when they don't have anything interesting to say. Most research projects start and are brought to conclusion under the assumption that they will result in multiple peer-reviewed publications, ...


2

Just a footnote rather than an answer. I have worked in crypto-related fields and from what I have seen there is a lot of 'security by obscurity.' People implement algorithms, write about them, study them and generally make a lot of pointless noise. Getting to some real info in amongst this low signal to noise ratio is hard. I don't know if it's part of the ...


10

In addition to the excellent answers above, let me add another reason: project requirements. When we submit a research grant proposal, we often have to indicate how many papers the project is going to produce if funded. This is in particular a typical requirement for nationally funded projects in some countries, less so for EU or Western academia funded ...


10

One obvious reason is the "information asymmetry". People indirectly paying for papers (or giving jobs to people with 123 published papers) do not understand enough about the field to properly rate them. So if you have no morals, the best way to increase your income/status is to pump out garbage papers... remember to put IoT, crypto, and deep ...


11

I'd add one point to the existing answers: Training Somehow you need to train your bachelor, master and PhD students to write technically good papers. Often they will get some toy topic, that could show good results but might also be just a bit crunch work or a "silly" approach that helps them get into the topic and learn to do proper research (...


15

This is similar to other answers, albeit framed in a different way. 'Publish or Perish': At least in Europe, an academic's career is intimately tied with publications and you're expected to regularly churn out papers. To an external observer, the quality of the paper is usually tied to the journal ranking rather than the actual content itself. If your paper ...


45

Let me propose two counterpoints to your question. First, what one finds silly someone else doesn't. I'm amazed that my most cited paper is basically aspirational and does not contain any strong result; on the other hand my best work is not cited very much at all. In fact there is usually an inverse correlation between my ranking of my own work and the ...


24

In my view, there are three main reasons: Academia is an economic institution where money flows in and papers flow out. Just in the US, the annual budget of NSF, NIH, DARPA, DOE and many others exceed the GDP of a mid-sized country. The pace of breakthroughs cannot keep up with the amount of resources we allocate for research but researchers need to produce ...


75

I used to laugh about a pair of pointless papers. The authors had (independently) proved that Polish notation not only makes formulas of propositional logic unambiguous without needing parentheses but continues to do so if the formulas are written in a circle, so that one can't immediately see where the beginning and end of the formula are. Later, I learned ...


113

Some poorly-run institutions pay people to publish papers. The pay is not based on the quality of the papers, only the number and possibly other useless information like the indexing of the paper. Some poorly-run institutions require students to publish papers to get degrees, but the quality of the papers is not adequately assessed. Some people do not ...


2

I think you should be fine, provided that you find an advisor who agrees that you are ready. The research skills you have are just about what is needed in the "new" field. You may lack some background on what has been done and on the open questions, but that is true of every PhD candidate. Actually your existing research/publications may give you ...


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