Over the past few weeks, we have explored the question of what constitutes scientific success and several important “comandments” for achieving this holy grail. In this post, we will discuss a presentation given by a young scientist at Delft University of Technology, who has expressed frustration with the common use of publication rate for defining scientific achievement. The presentation is especially noteworthy as it comes from a young scientist, Guenevere Prawiroatmodjo, who has yet to been tainted by years of politicking to climb the academic ladder. Nonetheless she is clearly bothered by the importance that is attached to an end-result that doesn’t pay tribute to, or encourage sharing of the entire scientific process. Not just results.
As Dr. Richard Feynmen so eloquently stated:
There isn’t any place to publish what you actually did in order to get to do the work
So what is Dr. Prawiroatmodjo’s solution to this problem? To create more openness and to share more parts of the scientific process. Furthermore, she postulates that it is critical to stimulate scientific motivation by encouraging entrepreneurship and commercialization.
In this vein, Dr. Prawiroatmodjo has come up with the “p” index which ranks scientific success as the number of times a scientist’s techniques or scientific tools have been used by the scientific community. In other words, if the “h” index ranks scientists by the number of citations their publication has received in the scientific literature, the “p” index ranks scientists by the impact their scientific methodology has had on the scientific community.