IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 6

h-index (a correlation of productivity
and impact via paper and citation
count), despite this index being primarily correlated with network centrality (i.e., popularity) [10] rather than a
reliable measure of academic quality6;
and journal impact factor, although
similarly it has been argued that the figure alone is no guarantee of academic
merit [2]. Both metrics are, of course,
open to manipulation, and impact
factor can even induce a state of scientific delusion: if some researchers are
asked by peer reviewers for "one more
experiment" before their paper can
appear in one of the "top" journals,
then they know what the outcome of
that experiment must be7 [4].
The expansion and its metrication
creates a near perfect storm when
it coincides with the "publish-or-perish" mentality and the imposition of
national evaluation exercises, such as
the U.K.'s Research Evaluation Framework (REF). For example, REF2014
was used to evaluate about 130 U.K.
universities employing approximately
200 000 academics, each of whom
had to submit four publications they
had produced in a six-year period. For
the sake of argument, assume that
these are all journal publications,
supposing that non-journal publications are balanced out by four being
the minimum number.
The gathering storm metastasises
into the perfect one when one throws
in the grand larceny masquerading
as a public good otherwise known as
Open Access. Multiply the number
of academics by the number of their
papers and the average fee charged
for open access, and the Fermi equa6

Like Asimov's Psychohistory [1], h-index works
passably well as an indicator, provided the subjects don't know they are being assessed by
it. Otherwise, it has a sort of quantum effect,
whereby taking a measurement of a system
affects that system. It is well known that people
don't just comply with rules, they react to incentives implied by the rules [3].
7
Hence the equation: career_pressure + confirmation_bias = 1/scientific_method. For more
on the issue of confirmation bias, see [11].

6

be invested in non-profit NGOs like
the IEEE to foster the development
of completely decentralized knowledge commons [5], [6] - using the
same technology to create an open,
democratic platform community,
not a platform economy that enables
some enterprises to accomplish their
objective of maximizing profit by
what some might argue is a form of
legalized profiteering.

tion/back-of-an-envelope calculation
reveals a huge number - and this is
in the U.K. alone. And this money is
paid to publish the work of people that
have already been paid to produce it...
It is at this point that the technological and business models underpinning the transition from print to
electronic format in academic publishing find themselves perfectly
positioned to exploit it. While many
publishers do work very effectively
with their journals, some publishing
houses have used their historicallyacquired position as guarantors of scientific quality and neutrality together
with the new technology to create a
platform economy [8], [12]. Moreover, the raw material is provided
for free; the labor to convert the
raw material into finished product
is provided for free (i.e., editors, peer
reviewers, etc.); distribution, advertising and promotion are provided for
free; and even the growth of the market is provided for free - which is precisely where this editorial started, with
the expansion of higher education.
In a platform economy, this exploitation is precisely what can be expected when both the ownership of the
means of production and the means
of coordination are privately owned.
The only "winner" in the fallout from
where technological advancement
underpinning the transition in academic publishing clashes with societal changes is the enterprise.
This is not to suggest that centralization is the preferred alternative: the
system of editorial and peer-review,
for all its limitations,8 has been crucial to the academic community, both
in access control and quality control,
as well as in self-governance and selfcorrection. The vast sums of money
spent on open access should instead

Author Information
Jeremy Pitt is Professor of Intelligent
and Self-Organizing Systems at
Imperial College London, U.K. Email:
j.pitt@imperial.ac.uk.

References

[1] I. Asimov, Foundation. Gnome, 1951.
[2] A. Kurmis, "Understanding the limitations of the journal impact factor," J. Bone
Joint Surg. Am., vol. 85-A, no. 12, pp. 24492454, Dec. 2003.
[3] E. López, The Pursuit of Justice: Law
and Economics of Legal Institutions. Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.
[4] R. Harris, "Perspective: Publish and perish," Issues in Science and Technology,
vol. 33, no. 4, 2017.
[5] C. Hess and E. Ostrom, Understanding
Knowledge as a Commons. Cambridge,
MA: M.I.T. Press, 2006.
[6] S. Macbeth and J. Pitt, "Self-organising
management of user-generated data and
knowledge," Knowledge Engineering Rev.,
vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 237-264, 2015.
[7] N. Oreskes and E. Conway, Merchants of
Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured
the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to
Global Warming. Bloomsbury, 2010.
[8] G. Parker, M. Van Alstyne, and S. Choudary,
Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets are Transforming the Economy - and How
to Make Them Work for You. Norton, 2016.
[9] J. Pitt and A. Nowak, "The reinvention of
social capital for socio-technical systems,"
IEEE Technology & Society Mag., vol. 33,
no. 1, pp. 27-33, 2014.
[10] E. Sarigöl, R. Pfitzner, I. Scholtes, A.
Garas, and F. Schweitzer, "Predicting scientific success based on coauthorship
networks," CoRR, abs/1402.7268, 2014.
[11] C. Tarvis and E. Aronson, Mistakes
Were Made, But Not By Me: Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and
Hurtful Acts. Mariner, 2015.
[12] M. Ulieru, "Blockchain and the real
sharing economy: 'Uberisation' demystified," 2016; https://www.linkedin.com/
pulse/blockchain-real-sharing-economyuberisation-dr-mihaela-ulieru.

8
It has impersonations too: the unscrupulous
use of the scientific method (founded on doubt)
against itself, by muddying the public understanding of a series of health and environmental
issues, is charted in [7].

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

∕

JUNE 2018


https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blockchain-real-sharing-economy-uberisation-dr-mihaela-ulieru https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blockchain-real-sharing-economy-uberisation-dr-mihaela-ulieru

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018

Contents
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - Cover1
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - Cover2
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 1
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - Contents
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 3
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 4
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 5
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 6
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 7
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 8
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 9
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 10
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 11
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 12
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 13
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 14
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 15
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 16
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 17
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 18
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 19
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 20
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 21
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 22
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 23
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 24
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 25
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 26
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 27
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 28
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 29
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 30
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 31
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 32
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 33
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 34
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 35
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 36
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 37
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 38
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 39
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 40
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 41
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 42
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 43
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 44
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 45
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 46
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 47
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 48
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 49
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 50
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 51
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 52
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 53
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 54
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 55
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 56
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 57
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 58
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 59
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 60
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 61
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 62
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 63
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 64
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 65
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 66
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 67
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 68
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 69
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 70
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 71
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 72
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 73
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 74
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 75
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 76
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 77
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 78
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 79
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 80
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 81
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 82
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 83
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 84
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 85
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 86
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 87
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - 88
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - Cover3
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - June 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_december2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_september2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_june2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_march2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_winter2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_fall2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_summer2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ieee/technologysociety_spring2013
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com