Indian scientists are criticizing a government proposal to pay graduate students who publish in select journals. They fear that it could degrade the quality of research and lead to an increase in scientific misconduct, by incentivizing publishing rather than good science.
Under the proposal by a central government committee, PhD students who publish in “reputed” international journals would receive a one-time payment of 50,000 rupees (about US$700), while students who publish in select domestic journals would earn 20,000 rupees. The cash bonuses for publishing are more than a typical graduate student’s monthly stipend.
India’s government has yet to accept the proposal, but academics there say evidence suggests these schemes do not improve research quality. Some researchers want the government to fund more research and permanent jobs, and reduce the funding uncertainty in existing programmes, before introducing cash bonuses for publications.