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Faculty Research Productivity: Why Do Some of Our Colleagues Publish More than Others?

  • Vicki L. Hesli and Jae Mook Lee (a1)

The justification for studying faculty research productivity is that it affects individual advancement and reputation within academe, as well as departmental and institutional prestige (Creamer 1998, iii). Publication records are an important factor in faculty performance evaluations, research grant awards, and promotion and salary decisions. The phrase “publish or perish” encapsulates the importance of research productivity to academic careers. In addition, questions are sometimes raised about whether an individual's status as a minority within academia (e.g., being a member of an underrepresented ethnic or racial group or being female in a male-dominated profession) affects his or her ability to publish or likelihood of publishing (Cole and Zuckerman 1984; Bellas and Toutkoushian 1999). Finally, most previous work that tackles the productivity causality puzzle comes from disciplines other than political science. Thus, one of the purposes of this report is to explore whether the existing findings about research productivity in other disciplines apply equally well to research productivity in political science.

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