Why having a readership matters

I recently proposed that scientists should adopt the find a readership or perish motto. (A related goal for engineers might be “find users or perish.”) The goal is certainly not to have as many readers as possible, but having some serious readers matter.

I was chatting with Seb Paquet today and he came up with a good argument to support this view: it is very hard to have a significant readership without serving a useful function in a community. In other words, it is easier to write many empty/wrong papers than it is to attract a large readership with empty/wrong papers.

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