Promoting inclusive metrics of success and impact to dismantle a discriminatory reward system in science (PLOS Biol)

As scientists, we often measure what we can measure as a proxy for what we want to measure. Critical to this strategy is a good understanding of how well the first represents the second. Currently, advancement in science largely rests upon factors that are easy to measure: number of publications and their citations. Here, Davies, Putnam, et al. highlight the fact that these metrics are “flawed and biased against already marginalized groups and fail to accurately capture the breadth of individuals’ meaningful scientific impacts.” This narrow vision of success disadvantages women and marginalized scientists, restricts justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and reduces innovation. A scientist’s “value” extends far beyond these citation numbers and include dissemination, collaboration, communication, and training, all of which should be embraced and rewarded. The authors provide suggestions for how to shift to a “publish and flourish” model, highlighting the training and support of inclusive mentoring that includes sponsoring, counseling, networking, and advocating. These changes will require many cultural shifts that must be embraced by all and led by those currently in positions of power and privilege.  (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) PLOS Bio  10.1371/journal.pbio.3001282