The world is moving – some scientific communities seem to ignore it, or at least seem to be unable to follow at an adequate speed. Me and some colleagues believe there is an emergency for these applied scientific communities to find new paradigms if they want to finally reach impact, a prerequisite to survival. We will not be talking about details here: the core values behind the scientific system have to change. The “Agile Manifesto” has been very efficient in inspiring such a value change. So we reused the form. Here is the first version of the “Manifesto for Impact in Applied Sciences”, with a word of explanation for each sentence. More can be found in a full text version that we presented to a first applied science community (Requirements Engineering).
We value Real World Benefits and Customer Focus
more than H-Indexes and Acceptance Rates
The evaluation systems are not aligned with practical impact. The measures we use to evaluate researchers are frequently obsolete and counterproductive. It’s time to find some metrics that relate to practical impact to enhance the currently used metrics.
We value Novelty and Usefulness
more than Validity and Truth
People in the real world prefer something creative and not so validated than something old and useless perfectly validated. Scientific evaluators seem to think the opposite. Companies expect innovation, so publishing and discussing early ideas should be rewarded. Companies after all apply what they believe in, and their beliefs are made out of many ingredients, scientific validation being only one of them at best.
We value Openness and Cross-fertilisation
more than Silos and Specialisation
Science should be open to the public, and inter-domain cross-fertilisation should be supported. Today publishers prevent that by making science an expensive and inpenetrable resource, in their only interest. Not only is it too expensive to reach a scientific article for an industry person, but moreover it is not retrievable if you are not a PhD in the discipline.
We value Collaboration and Transparency
more than Competition and Protection
Todays scientifc world is competitive: a researcher must hide his idea until it’s published, and noted as his idea. This slows the collaboration process, when it does not kill him through unfair reviews by envious colleagues.
Feel free to react to this Manifesto proposal: an ongoing collaborative work will be needed to make it better!
In the full text version we also suggest a naive way to implement this vision, using a collaborative wiki style of writing, reviewing and publishing science. Wikipedia finally applied to science, how is that for an idea ? You can comment on this too…