Pressure to publish: A Bibliometric Study of PhD-Students (1993-2009)

Tove Faber Frandsen, Rasmus Højbjerg Jacobsen, Jeppe Nicolaisen, Jakob Ousager

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Introduction. Academic advancements as well as funding depend on publications and thus pressure researchers to publish. The perception of the pressure to publish is tied to career stage. The uncertain future careers of PhD-students and postdocs cause them to be more aware of publication pressure and may to lead to a practice of splitting scientific findings into smaller units to maximize the research output.
Method. Using a data set of health sciences PhD-students from the University of Southern Denmark, this paper investigates whether the productivity and citation impact of PhD-students has increased over time. We use a pseudo-experimental matching method to ensure that former and contemporary PhD students have similar characteristics as measured by a number of balancing variables.
Analysis. The matching method enables us to estimate productivity and impact by an ordinary t-test using standard statistical software packages.
Results. Collectively, after completion of the PhD-program the PhD students from the new cohort published more than the PhD students from the old cohort. The results of the citation analyses show that on average, the publications by the new cohort from years 1 through 5 after graduation receive more citations than the publications from the old cohort. Yet, when comparing normalized and fractionalized citation counts, the cohorts are remarkably similar.
Conclusion. PhD-students have increased their publication rate although the citation rates have not changed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercolis1925
JournalInformation Research
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
EventCoLIS19: Conceptions of library and information science: 10th. international conference - Faculty of arts, Aškerčeva 2, Ljubljana, Ljubliana, Slovenia
Duration: 17. Jun 201920. Nov 2019


LocationFaculty of arts, Aškerčeva 2, Ljubljana
Internet address


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