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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Tenure, and Two Kinds of Academic Research 
9th-Aug-2010 12:25 pm
From the invaluable Megan McArdle:

Is this[publication mania] producing better education? Doubtful; there's no particular relationship between scholarship and the ability to teach. How about valuable scholarship? Well, define valuable--in many liberal arts fields, the only possible consumer of the research in question is a handful of scholars in the same field. That sort of research is valuable in the same way that children's craft projects are priceless--to their mothers. Basically, these people are supporting an expensive hobby with a sideline business certifying the ability of certain twenty-year olds to write in complete sentences.

And because it is valuable mostly to their mothers or as a line on an unfollowedup resume, disappearing into the stacks of the few universities which subscribe to the publications in which the articles appear, that fraud periodically raises its head on tenure track.
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