Recently, Prof. Dr.-ing. Matthias Kleiner, president of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG), gave a speach with the intention of changing the way we think about papers (PDF of the speach (German)). From July scientists who apply for money from the DFG must not name more than 5 publications in their application form. While this at first sight might appear to be just a minor change of the way the application has to be written, Prof. Kleiner and the DFG senate want to encourage scientists with this change to write less but better papers. They recognize that papers are the “gold standard” and a “currency” in the scientific community but also say that due to the increasing importance of various statistical factors (Hirsch-factor, Impact-factor, …) the pressure on scientists to publish highly cited papers is immense. This, so the DFG scientists, is bad for scientists and in some cases leads to scientists publishing false results just to have more papers published.
By adding these new rules for DFG applications, they want to break this trend and put more importance in high quality papers.