Scientific priority  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In science, priority is the credit given to the individual or group of individuals who first made the discovery or propose the theory. Fame and honours usually go to the first person or group to publish a new finding, even if several researchers arrived at the same conclusion independently and at the same time. Thus between two or more independent discoverers, the first to make formal publication is the legitimate winner. Hence, the tradition is often referred to as the priority rule, the procedure of which is nicely summed up in a phrase "publish or perish", because there are no second prizes.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Scientific priority" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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