What is the genuine intention of scientific publishing?

I recently read an impressive editorial article that meant to lay bare possible answers for “why do we (as software engineering researchers) usually publish scientific papers?”. Jeff Offutt listed four answers as follows: 1. yet another bullet in a C.V., 2. satisfaction of a local measure for getting a promotion, 3. having an impact on the other researchers in our community by producing implicit knowledge, 4. effectively solving relevant challenges in practices which our community practitioners are doing at the moment! Finally, he mentioned that in order to be effectively influential, we have to write papers that add value to the field, clearly presented and published in a right venue that our community care about. I as a researcher in software engineering field would like to add another possible answer to this question: sometimes in the middle of our research we need to hear back from our community whether we are at the right track or not. We might need their feedback on the spot when we are revising or presenting or conducting some experiments or later when they email you to ask something about it or want to hear recent developments regarding the main approach targeted in that paper or hopefully cite them in their research outcomes. At this stage, all the solution components of our research problem are not fully developed but they are somewhere in between progressing to reach the objectives that have been set.  At this stage, these kinds of manuscripts don’t have any impact on our practice at all and the other motivations really shouldn’t make sense in fairly developed contexts. However, they are not totally out of the blue in all environments and communities! By the way, we are all human beings and need some motivations to cheer our research work up a bit 🙂


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