Ten simple rules for building and maintaining a scientific reputation
At a recent Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal editors' meeting, we were having a discussion about the work of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; http://www.publicationethics.org/), a forum for editors to discuss research and publication misconduct. Part of the discussion centered on the impact such cases have on the scientific reputation of those involved. We began musing: What on earth is a scientific reputation anyway? Not coming up with a satisfactory answer, we turned to a source of endless brainpower—students and other editors. Having posed the question to a group of graduate students, PLoS, and other editors, we got almost as many different answers as people asked, albeit with some common themes. They all mentioned the explicit elements of a reputation that relate to measurables such as number of publications, H factor, overall number of citations etc., but they also alluded to a variety of different, qualitative, factors that somehow add up to the overall sense of reputation that one scientist has for another.