Now here is a refreshing idea: Much of the academic research published today is of such poor quality that it's worthless. The reason, argue authors writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, is that tenure and career advancement for academics often hinges on the amount of research you publish, not on how good it is.
They propose several ways of fixing the problem, including a limiting of the number of papers an academic job candidate can submit.
What is also interesting about this article is that one author is a mechanical engineering professor. From this we might surmise that the poor-quality research problem is not confined to just studies of Chaucer and Shakespeare.
Here is the CoHE article: http://chronicle.com/article/We-Must-Stop-the-Avalanche-of/65890/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en