Luis Von (CMU professor & inventor of CAPTHA) points out in his post Academic publishing 2.0 how the academic research world has been turned to a paper-generation industry:
As an academic community, it sometimes feels that the final goal of doing research is publishing papers. The goal of doing research should be, well, doing research. I understand that communicating the results of our work is important, but surely there is a better method than one that was invented before computers were around.
Given the number of people working in computer science and the fact that publishing papers is considered the goal of our work, there is an insane number of papers written every year, the vast majority of which contribute very little (or not at all) to our collective knowledge. This is basically spam.
Can a combination of a wiki, karma, and a voting method like reddit or digg substitute the current system of academic publication?
Well, this is basically a chicken and egg loop problem. Many people doing research know they need to produce a large number of research papers each year to stay competitive. Quantity over quality. Although there are some efforts to quantify the quality of a research paper such as the impact factor, eigenfactor, or even using Pagerank the research public community needs to reinvent itself!
P.S. Darn, i need to finish some papers soon!