The increasing pace of human discovery is a curse – we need to rethink what it means to publish the results of research.
The rapid growth of scientific literature is often seen as evidence, if evidence were needed, that the pace of human discovery is accelerating. On the contrary, however, it is becoming a curse – one that requires us to radically rethink what it means to publish the results of research.
Relentlessly – day after day, year after year – scientists are uncovering new facts about the world. If anything, the startling rate at which this happens appears to be increasing, but how would we know if such an impression was true? One way is to look at the rate at which scientific papers are published and these have indeed been appearing at an ever-increasing rates for decades or even centuries.