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Research antiefficiency principle

It is an intriguing thought (and admittedly a provocative way to put it). University funding in the USA, UK and other research-powerful countries is partly based on grant overheads. That is, funds payed by research agencies to the research institutions, beyond the direct costs of the research itself, to cover for a proportional part of the costs of running the institutions themselves. Sensible.

Overheads do represent a significant part of institutional income. It makes sense in many ways, but, in essence, it leads to the antiefficiency principle: Since overheads scale with the direct research costs, universities and research institutions, more or less directly, tell their research staff: "do your best, for as much money as possible".

The title of this post is provocative because the quoted statement above is not as antiefficient as it sounds. "Do something for as much money as possible" would be antiefficient, but the actual statement implies two maxmisations, &qu…

Phys. Rev. X Quantum

It is a new journal that has been recently announced by the American Physical Society (APS). It is introduced as "a highly selective, open access journal featuring quantum information science and technology research with an emphasis on lasting and profound impact."

But why? (tone of agony and desperation). Both Phys. Rev. Research and Phys. Rev. X perfectly cover the remit. It is very disappointing that APS now decides still to play the game of new journals for new trendy topics. I welcomed Phys. Rev. Research  as a step in the right direction (see previous post). I am afraid Phys. Rev. X Quantum goes in the wrong direction, both as a new topical journal and as a highly selective one (more agony). My reasons for this are presented in an earlier post. Sadly, APS is following the path defined by others, in a competition among publishers that does not serve the community, and in which it has few chances to maintain (regain?) leadership. 

Of course, I have absolutely nothing agai…