Getting enough sleep, eating right, socializing–any decent listicle on self-care will tell you these activities are key to living a happy and healthy life. What about getting ahead in academic science? No, in that domain, relentless productivity is what’s likely to pay off. A 2018 article in Nature examined 265 authors who had published at least 72 scientific articles in a given calendar year between 2000 and 2016–on average, that means they were publishing every five days during the year (Ioannidis, Klavans, and Boyack 2018). While these authors were “implausibly prolific,” the sciences favor researchers like them who can get their work published.
The need to keep up an intensive publication schedule might be especially acute when your scientific efforts require boatloads of government cash, and when it comes to scientific research, the government is a primary funder. “Keep in mind that your productivity, reflected by publications in reputable peer reviewed journals, is important – so don’t neglect this key aspect of your career,” reads a tip sheet on winning grants on one National Institutes of Health (NIH) website (NIAID 2020).
The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.