Publish or Perish

I’m at a conference, and people started talking about the publish or perish culture in academia, and I’m thinking, gosh, I’d love to spend two days at least in this mythical publish or perish environment. I publish more than the people who were complaining (probably combined) but there are absolutely no benefits accruing to me as a result of that from my university. At best, people here treat my interest in research as an eccentricity and at worst as something that makes me a bad teacher.

I feel envious of those few lucky bastards who feel pressured to publish. I’d like to be pressured. My motivation to do research is completely internal, which is healthy, but it would be nice to get a little push. Just to know what it feels like.


3 thoughts on “Publish or Perish

  1. This is like when I read research about married people being happier, more successful, making more money, etc.

    I keep waiting for the windfall money and success that getting and staying married magically grants, and so far it hasn’t materialized. Maybe we’d be miserable homeless people if we hadn’t got hitched?

    But hey, we are happier married than we were single, so at least that part’s true 🙂

    Maybe it’s not that publishing grants success. It’s just that it’s the minimum requirement to stay employed.

    So, like marriage, publishing is just a platform from which those other benefits can be reeled in– those benefits aren’t guaranteed, but they’re drastically more difficult to get without that platform. It’s launching your boat from the dock instead of waiting for high tide and dragging it off the beach, maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

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