Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Recent philosophical work has praised the reward structure of science, while recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. I argue that the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work, thus contributing to the so-called reproducibility crisis. I use a rational choice model to identify a set of sufficient conditions for this problem to arise, and I argue that these conditions plausibly apply to a wide range of research situations. Currently proposed solutions will not fully address this problem. Philosophical commentators should temper their optimism about the reward structure of science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-674
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Philosophy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • The Head and the Heart: Incentives and Norms

    Bright, L. K. & Heesen, R., 1 Nov 2020, The Sooty Empiric 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publication

    Open Access

Cite this