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Publish or perish: The myth and reality of academic publishing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2012

Icy Lee*
The Chinese University of Hong


While writing for scholarly publications is considered a crucial dimension of academic work, the ‘publish-or-perish’ system in our field has increasingly caused anxiety and induced stress among not only young academics but also more established scholars. Using my own publishing experience as a point of departure, I challenge the assumption that knowledge contribution should be solely or mainly gauged on the basis of the venue of publications. By comparing the perspectives of twelve Asia-based scholars based on data collected from email interviews, I propose that ‘scholarliness’ should be defined by knowledge dissemination and advancement in our field, rather than indexes or journal impact factors. Using the game metaphor, I conclude by offering some tips to survive ‘publish or perish’.

Plenary Speeches
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

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