From the way a deli will slice salami or similar meat in small slices in order to fill a sandwich at lowest cost.


salami slicing (uncountable)

  1. The achievement of a large change by incrementally asking for small concessions.
    • 1995, David Churchman, Negotiation: Process, Tactics, Theory, →ISBN, page 46:
      Salami slicing is a way to make progress under conditions of low trust. The tactic works best if begun with issues of low importance to the opponents. Salami slicing may be useful early in a negotiation against opponents facing a deadline.
    • 2011, Joseph H. Boyett, Getting Things Done in Washington, →ISBN, page 151:
      Of course, the danger of salami slicing is that opponents of change will use it against those who want meaningful reform.
    • 2012, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Health Committee, Public expenditure: thirteenth report of session 2010-12, Vol. 1, →ISBN:
      At that time there were short-term expedients, salami slicing and budgets being cut without regard to the impact on quality.
    • 2013, Tom Kratman, A Desert Called Peace, →ISBN:
      You know the type: "We'll officially forbid torture but if you—soldier or law enforcement officer or intelligence agent—engage in it illegally with the intent of protecting me and mine and it turns out that you just might have protected us then we'll pardon you. Then we can feel clean and safe and pure and virtuous and still be properly grateful." Despicable moral cowardice; that's what that is. Someone (Michael Kinsley, I think) called all this, "salami slicing." He was right, of course, it often is salami slicing.
    • 2014, Robert Haddick, Fire on the Water: China, America, and the Future of the Pacific, →ISBN:
      China's behavior suggests the use of “salami slicing” to gradually settle its claims in the Near Seas.
  2. The publication of multiple (usually very similar) papers based on a single piece of research.
    • 2012, Depression: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional, →ISBN:
      No research has investigated whether 'salami slicing' may also occur in publications presenting results from pooled analyses of clinical trials.
    • 2015, Marilyn H. Oermann & ‎Judith C. Hays, Writing for Publication in Nursing, →ISBN, page 139:
      The intent of salami slicing usually is to increase the number of publications attributable to an author.
    • 2017, David H. Foster, A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering, →ISBN:
      From the author's viewpoint, salami slicing may also be counterproductive. Papers that make incremental advances are less likely to be accepted by reputable journals [303] [314].
    • 2018, Imad A. Moosa, Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences, →ISBN:
      Last, but not lease, salami slicing may encourage some practices (such as fabrication of data and unnecessary extrapolation of results) that have ethical implications. Yet it is arguable that salami slicing is justifiable if a major research project is so extensive that it involves several research groups across disciplines.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see salami,‎ slice.

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