This seems to be a very interesting article. The first few paragraphs outline how real life research questions become academic topics mainly aimed toward publication rather than information gathering.
This is a particularly telling paragraph:
“Steadily the report was shorn of the information needed to make it useful. And thus the government could pay many tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds, yet end up with a bland, deliberately incommunicative report, crafted to be hard for academic referees to criticise.”
Academic research is a very competitive field. I enjoyed reading this article and it does bring up an ethical issue as well. Is your responsibility to your own career and being published in a big journal or to the investor who is funding your research? While it can be argued that the two are not mutually exclusive, there is a conflict there. Certainly food for thought when directing my students toward research, also something to consider when telling the students during the analysis process using CRAAP; “To test for accuracy see if this agrees with what you know about the topic then decide if it is new and innovative or inaccurate.”