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Researchers in Europe are increasingly assessed by their publication metrics. To uncover the effect of quantitative assessment on the publication strategies of clinical researchers in Denmark, we interviewed 9 senior researchers at the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark with the lowest and highest values for a, as defined by Hirsch. Our aim is to investigate the importance of these metrics to their academic careers: h-index, number of publications, number of citations, international collaborations, local collaborations, field specific journal publishing and high journal impact factor publishing. To validate our findings we compared their publication record to their statistically analyzed stated publication strategy. Our results indicate two styles of publication strategy used by these senior researchers. Researchers with Low a engage in local collaborations, disseminate knowledge in local media and publish in field specific journals, while researchers with High a engage in international collaborations, invest significant time in publishing in the highest impact journals in their field, and acquire a greater number of citations. Both publication strategies can lead to a successful academic career, yet we have an indication through the h5-index that the practices of the High a group are more likely to nudge the h-index.