Study finds research productivity not necessarily “all downhill” after tenure

October 19, 2017

A new paper has challenged the notion that research productivity is “all downhill after tenure.” The study states that while the general, aggregate trend matches this perception, there is great variability in peak research activity among individual scientists. “Despite the persistent conventional narrative and expectations about productivity, individual people have incredibly diverse careers,” said lead study author Samuel Way, who later added that academics who do not fit the mould “aren’t errors, they’re people.” The study also found that individual productivity was predicted by departmental prestige and the timing of first (lead) author publications to last (senior) author publications. Way suggests that future research could investigate what policies allow for early-career research success. Inside Higher Ed