Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize scientific publishing. The influence of AI could be disruptive or destructive and its influence remains to be seen, but balance between the convenience and accessibility offered by AI-driven tools and the essential skills of deep scientific inquiry and communication needs to be found.
In the past few decades, an exponential growth in the volume of new scientific and technological knowledge has occurred, setting the stage for potentially major advances1; however, a noticeable declining trend in disruptive scientific discoveries has happened in parallel. Analysis of millions of papers showed that this trend is unlikely to be driven by changes in citation practices or by the quality of published works. Rather, such a decline could represent a substantive shift in science, with a decreasing revolutionary nature of discoveries and inventions2. However one chooses to perceive the decline in groundbreaking scientific discoveries, it stands in contrast to the exponential growth in the number of published research papers3. We believe that this observation is as an intriguing paradox that raises questions about the evolving dynamics happening within the scientific community.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 / 30 days
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$209.00 per year
only $17.42 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Fink, T. M. A., Reeves, M., Palma, R. & Farr, R. S. Serendipity and strategy in rapid innovation. Nat. Commun. 8, 2002 (2017).
Park, M., Leahey, E. & Funk, R. J. Papers and patents are becoming less disruptive over time. Nature 613, 138–144 (2023).
Bloom, N., Jones, C. I., Van Reenen, J. & Webb, M. Are ideas getting harder to find? Am. Econ. Rev. 110, 1104–1144 (2020).
Rice, D. B. et al. Academic criteria for promotion and tenure in biomedical sciences faculties: cross sectional analysis of international sample of universities. BMJ 369, m2081 (2020).
Stone, L. The dawning of the age of artificial intelligence in urology. Nat. Rev. Urol. 18, 322 (2021).
Hutson, M. Could AI help you to write your next paper? Nature 611, 192–193 (2022).
Conroy, G. How ChatGPT and other AI tools could disrupt scientific publishing. Nature 622, 234–236 (2023).
Joaquin, J. J. & Biana, H. T. When authors play the predatory journals’ own game. Nature 621, 474 (2023).
The authors declare no competing interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Bertolo, R., Antonelli, A. Generative AI in scientific publishing: disruptive or destructive?. Nat Rev Urol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41585-023-00836-w