By Julia Belluz at Vox.com
After toiling away for months on revisions for a single academic paper, Columbia University economist Chris Blattman started wondering about the direction of his work.
He had submitted the paper in question to one of the top economics journals earlier this year. In return, he had gotten back nearly 30 pages of single-space comments from peer reviewers (experts in the field who provide feedback on a scientific manuscript). It had taken two or three days a week over three months to address them all.
So Blattman asked himself some simple but profound questions: Was all this work on a single study really worth it? Was it best to spend months revising one study — or could that time have been better spent on publishing multiple smaller studies?