Department of Management

A survey on information sources used by academic researchers to evaluate scientific instruments

Research output: Working paperResearch

  • Carsten Bergenholtz
  • Samuel MacAulay, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Christos Kolympiris, University of Bath, UK, United Kingdom
  • Inge Seim, University of Queensland, Australia
Most scientific research is fueled by research equipment (instruments); typically hardware purchased to suit a particular research question. Examples range from 17th century microscopes to modern particle colliders and high-throughput sequencers. Here, we studied the information sources used by
academic researchers to assess scientific instruments, and reveal evidence of a worrying confluence of incentives similar to those that drove the bio
pharmaceutical industry to adopt controversial practices such as ghostwriting and hidden sponsorship. Our findings suggest there are little understood incentives against disclosure in the peer-reviewed literature on scientific instruments; constituting an underappreciated threat to scientific standards of trustworthiness and transparency. We believe that a public debate and subsequent editorial policy action are urgently required.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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