An interesting new publication by Bill Laurance and team in Bioscience.
Here is the paper, and the abstract is below:
Predicting Publication Success for Biologists
Can one foresee whether young scientists will publish successfully during their careers? For academic biologists on four continents, we evaluated the effects of gender, native language, prestige of the institution at which they received their PhD, the date of their first publication (relative to the year of PhD completion), and their pre-PhD publication record as potential indicators of long-term publication success (10 years post-PhD). Pre-PhD publication success was the strongest correlate of long-term success. Gender, language, and the date of first publication had ancillary roles, with native English speakers, males, and those who published earlier in their career having minor advantages. Once these aspects were accounted for, university prestige had almost no discernable effect. We suggest that early publication success is vital for aspiring young scientists and that one of the easiest ways to identify rising stars is simply to find those who have published early and often.
I think they are broadly correct in their analysis, and I find myself carefully examining early publication (rates and quality) when looking at job applicants. It is a shame (but no surprise) that native English-speakers and males have a minor advantage , but important to note that these effects are surprisingly minor compared to early career publication trajectory.
But if anybody with no papers out of their PhD feels demotivated, remember that statistics do not equal destiny. I had only one paper from my PhD, and that was published two years after getting my PhD.
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University