A recent post by ScienceWoman in response to a reader query from Mrs. Comet Hunter reminded me of this post I put up on the old blog Oct 19, 2007.

A reader dropped the blog an email note which, among other things, was interested in a discussion of the concept of “least publishable unit”or LPU.
Apparently this concept is popular enough that Wikipedia has an entry on the “LPU“:

In academic publishing, the least publishable unit (LPU) is the smallest amount of information that can generate a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The term is often used as a joking, ironic, or sometimes derogatory reference to the strategy of pursuing the greatest quantity of publications at the expense of their quality. … There is no consensus among academics about whether people should seek to make their publications least publishable units.

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