This was really striking:
In his new book “Higher Education in America,” former Harvard president Derek Bok notes that 98 percent of articles published in the arts and humanities are never cited by another researcher. In social sciences, it is 75 percent. Even in the hard sciences, where 25 percent of articles are never cited, the average number of citations is between one and two.
We are conducting research because the system says you must research. We are publishing - and supporting a vibrant academic publishing industry - simply because we're measuring performance on that basis.
We privilege academics as specially clever people but the reality is that many of them spend their time doing things that serve no real purpose, conducting research that no-one (bar the journal editor and the academic's mum) will read about.