The Least Interesting Unit: A New Concept for Enhancing One's Academic Career Opportunities

TitleThe Least Interesting Unit: A New Concept for Enhancing One's Academic Career Opportunities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCabbolet, M
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Date Published2016
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
KeywordsCAREER , Least , Maxims , PHYSICS , professional , research , Scientific
AbstractMotivated by a current development in the physics community, this paper introduces the notion of a least interesting unit (LIU) in research as an investigation that is just interesting enough to pursue. A new general maxim for science is then that a researcher should pursue as many LIUs as possible. Although fulfilling this maxim enhances one's perspective for a career in the present publish-or-perish academic world, in particular when simultaneously publishing one's results in the form of as many least publishable units as possible, this paper concludes that it is an example of an unethical practice: it may undermine scientific progress, it may lead to a waste of valuable resources, and it may contribute to an erosion of norms and values in science. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Science & Engineering Ethics is the property of Springer Science & Business Media B.V. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
NotesCabbolet, Marcoen 1; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: Department of Philosophy , Free University of Brussels , Pleinlaan 2 1050 Brussels Belgium; Source Info: Dec2016, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p1837; Subject Term: Career development; Subject Term: Physics research; Subject Term: Research -- Moral & ethical aspects; Subject Term: Professional ethics; Subject Term: Maxims; Author-Supplied Keyword: Least publishable unit; Author-Supplied Keyword: Research ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Scientific quality; NAICS/Industry Codes: 611430 Professional and Management Development Training; NAICS/Industry Codes: 624310 Vocational Rehabilitation Services; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); Number of Pages: 5p; Document Type: Article