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WDYT how many papers should write a good scientist every year?

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  • WDYT how many papers should write a good scientist every year?

    As common in many places, at my institution we are under pressure because
    our productivity, in terms of number published papers per year, is
    considered not sufficient. The quality issue has been addressed in our
    scoring system, derived from the ISI disciplines groups and based on their
    Impact Factor. But the quantity is currently debated.

    I would appreciate if any colleague could pass me factual information on
    the rate of publishing of average bioengineers, biologists, clinicians,
    etc. in the world, in their country, in their department. Obviously I am
    trying to demonstrate that it is not true that the rest of the world is
    publishing twice than us. Any information on the scoring system (if any)
    in use at your institution could be also of interest.

    Additionally, and this is the reason of the WDYT label, I would like to
    hear opinions on the more general question posed in the subject.

    At least in biomechanics, in my humble opinion a scientist can publish in
    average two papers per year of the best quality. Above two the quality is
    progressively compromised in favour of the quantity.

    Do you agree with this statement?

    Similar questions can be posed with reference to the carrier. How many
    papers should publish a master student? A PhD student? A three-years
    post-doc? Etc.

    And last, but least, does it make sense to count papers or impact factors?
    And before you simply answer no, what alternative scoring system you have
    in mind?

    thanks in advance for any reply.


    Ps: to save you time, before you go checking how many papers I published
    last year, yes, I published more than two papers :-)

    Laboratorio di Tecnologia Medica tel. 39-051-6366865
    Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli fax. 39-051-6366863
    via di barbiano 1/10, 40136 - Bologna, Italy

    Tiger! Tiger! Burning bright in the forest of the night,
    what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?
    Opinions expressed here do not necessarly reflect those of my employer

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