Academia's Never-Ending Selection for Productivity. Brischoux, F. and Angelier, F. 103(1):333–336.
Academia's Never-Ending Selection for Productivity [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Excerpt] Over the last decade, a debate has been emerging on ” Academia's obsession with quantity” (Lawrence 2007; Fischer et al. 2012a) and the subsequent Impact Factor Race, an unhealthy game played by scientists (Cherubini 2008; Brischoux and Cook 2009). Despite being widely despised by the scientific community (but see Loyola et al. 2012), the ” publish or perish” dogma and the use of productivity indices (e.g., journal's impact factor, number of published articles) to assess a researcher's output seem to hold on, as suggested by the relatively frequent publications on this subject (e.g., Lawrence 2007; McDade et al. 2011; Fischer et al. 2012a; Kaushal and Jeschke 2014; Jacobs 2014 see also Carpenter et al. 2014). [] Yet, actual quantification of the effects of this deviance on the politics of scientific research remains complicated. For instance, this obsession with quantity is expected to produce tougher competition for positions in an already uncertain job market (Sanchis-Gomar 2014) and, more importantly, to delay the recruitment of young scientists leading therefore to some extent of precarity. Because of this tougher competition, young PhDs may have to accumulate precarious research positions prior to recruitment at a stable research and/or teaching position. However, quantifying these phenomena and trends over time is challenging. Indeed, researchers' recruitment in specific disciplines depends on the needs of a research institution (e.g., a university) that may dramatically vary through time, thereby precluding robust assessment of time series of the academic profiles of recruits. [] As an attempt to quantify the evolution of the academic profiles of young researchers hired over time, we took advantage of the highly repeatable recruitment process used by the French CNRS ( ” National Centre for Scientific Research”, the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe). Indeed, each year and for each of the 41 research disciplines ( ” sections”), the CNRS recruits several young researchers through a similar competitive exam. For instance, each year the CNRS opens a specific number of positions dedicated specifically to young evolutionary biologists (section 29, CNRS). This scheme offers a rare, if not unique, opportunity to examine the evolution of the academic profiles of young researchers hired by this research institution over time. [] [...]
@article{brischouxAcademiaNeverendingSelection2015,
  title = {Academia's Never-Ending Selection for Productivity},
  author = {Brischoux, François and Angelier, Frédéric},
  date = {2015-02},
  journaltitle = {Scientometrics},
  volume = {103},
  pages = {333--336},
  issn = {0138-9130},
  doi = {10.1007/s11192-015-1534-5},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-015-1534-5},
  abstract = {[Excerpt] Over the last decade, a debate has been emerging on ” Academia's obsession with quantity” (Lawrence 2007; Fischer et al. 2012a) and the subsequent Impact Factor Race, an unhealthy game played by scientists (Cherubini 2008; Brischoux and Cook 2009). Despite being widely despised by the scientific community (but see Loyola et al. 2012), the ” publish or perish” dogma and the use of productivity indices (e.g., journal's impact factor, number of published articles) to assess a researcher's output seem to hold on, as suggested by the relatively frequent publications on this subject (e.g., Lawrence 2007; McDade et al. 2011; Fischer et al. 2012a; Kaushal and Jeschke 2014; Jacobs 2014 see also Carpenter et al. 2014).

[] Yet, actual quantification of the effects of this deviance on the politics of scientific research remains complicated. For instance, this obsession with quantity is expected to produce tougher competition for positions in an already uncertain job market (Sanchis-Gomar 2014) and, more importantly, to delay the recruitment of young scientists leading therefore to some extent of precarity. Because of this tougher competition, young PhDs may have to accumulate precarious research positions prior to recruitment at a stable research and/or teaching position. However, quantifying these phenomena and trends over time is challenging. Indeed, researchers' recruitment in specific disciplines depends on the needs of a research institution (e.g., a university) that may dramatically vary through time, thereby precluding robust assessment of time series of the academic profiles of recruits.

[] As an attempt to quantify the evolution of the academic profiles of young researchers hired over time, we took advantage of the highly repeatable recruitment process used by the French CNRS ( ” National Centre for Scientific Research”, the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe). Indeed, each year and for each of the 41 research disciplines ( ” sections”), the CNRS recruits several young researchers through a similar competitive exam. For instance, each year the CNRS opens a specific number of positions dedicated specifically to young evolutionary biologists (section 29, CNRS). This scheme offers a rare, if not unique, opportunity to examine the evolution of the academic profiles of young researchers hired by this research institution over time.

[] [...]},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13929145,bibliometrics,feedback,publish-or-perish,research-funding,research-management,research-metrics,science-ethics},
  number = {1}
}
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