Research should be rewarded for being useful rather than novel: Opinion

October 5, 2022
In a recent article for Nature, Melissa Flagg argues that research must be rewarded for its utility rather than its novelty. Many countries have built research pipelines that reward “flashy” research that does not lead toward tangible benefits, Flagg writes, rather than focusing on research that solves pressing issues. To address this, academia must entice researchers to work toward practical solutions and take the necessary steps to reward research that benefits people, even if it does not lead to profit. Flagg makes several recommendations to this end, including expanding metrics to include real-world change, diversifying metrics, ensuring proposals that work toward broader impacts include key performance indicators, and ensuring that impact statements on federally funded grants are searchable. Nature (Editorial)