Publish or impoverish : an investigation of the monetary reward system of science in China (1999-2016)
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofAslib Journal of information management ; vol. 69, no. 5, pp. 486-502.
Although monetary rewards have been used for recognizing scientific achievement since the eighteenth century, it is not regarded as the major reward system in science as described by Merton (1973), in which scientists publish their works and receive the recognition of their peers as the reward. Since academic prizes consisting of cash rewards are awarded only to very few scientific elites, they are considered as a metaphors of prestige rather than simply large sums of money (Zuckerman, 1992). However, the reward system in science changed when the monetary reward incentive for publication was introduced in 1980s. It is reported that this incentive can promote research productivity (Franzoni et al., 2011) but might create a negative goal displacement effect (Frey et al., 2013; Osterloh and Frey, 2014). Since the early 1990s, Chinese research institutions have initiated cash-per-publication reward polices in which Chinese scholars can get cash for each eligible publication. The purpose of publishing their works is not only to advance knowledge and win recognition, but also to earn cash (Sun and Zhang, 2010; Wang, 2016). Since these cash-per-publication reward policies vary by institution and some policies are internal or confidential, they have never been systematically investigated except for in some case studies. The purpose of this study is to present the landscape of the cash-per-publication reward policy in China and reveal its trend since the late 1990s.