Impact factors in Brazil: part of a research treadmill
Intense competition among Brazilian scientists for scarce funds may be improving the country's science, but what is the affect on the individual, particularly on new PhDs who need to establish a career?
In this letter to Nature, three researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro report that Brazilian scientists are increasingly evaluated purely on the basis of their publication record — and on the impact factor of the journals that publish their research papers.
Scientists have excessive workloads and are under growing pressure to publish more every year, they say, promoting a "cultural distortion where scientometrics prevails over knowledge".
Reference: Nature 424, 723 (2003)