, Volume 111, Issue 3, pp 1813–1837 | Cite as

Publish or perish: how Central and Eastern European economists have dealt with the ever-increasing academic publishing requirements 2000–2015

  • Martin GrančayEmail author
  • Jolita Vveinhardt
  • Ērika Šumilo


While “publish or perish” has been an integral part of academic research in Western countries for several decades, the phenomenon has made its way to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) only recently. The current paper shows how publishing criteria in the field of economics and business have developed in seven CEE countries since 2000 and how economists have responded by altering their publishing behavior. The research indicates a dichotomous development: on one hand the annual number of Web of Science publications has increased by 317% between 2000 and 2015, economists distribute their works across a wider range of journals than before, they are more cited and the weighted average of impact factors of all journals where they publish has risen by 228%. On the other hand, however, a number of economists have chosen an opposite strategy and publish mostly in local or “predatory” journals. Recommendations for policy makers are provided on how to maximize the benefits and minimize negative impacts of the publishing criteria.


Academic publishing Web of Science Scopus Impact factor Central and Eastern Europe “Predatory” journal 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification

I20 I23 



We would like to thank Dr. Balázs Szent-Iványi from Corvinus University of Budapest for his valuable Hungary-related contribution to this paper. We also thank two anonymous referees for their detailed reports and suggestions. As always, we are responsible for any remaining mistakes.


  1. Barrios, M., Guilera, G., & Gómez-Benito, J. (2013). Impact and structural features of meta-analytical studies, standard articles and reviews in psychology: Similarities and differences. Journal of Informetrics, 7(2), 478–786. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2013.01.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beall, J. (2012). Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature, 489(7415), 179. doi: 10.1038/489179a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beall, J. (2015). Predatory journals and the breakdown of research cultures. Information Development, 31(5), 473–476. doi: 10.1177/0266666915601421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beall, J. (2016). List of standalone journals.
  5. Callaway, E. (2016). Beat it, impact factor! Publishing elite turns against impact factor. Nature, 535(7611), 210–211. doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.20224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Collazo-Reyes, F. (2014). Growth of the number of indexed journals of Latin America and the Caribbean: The effect on the impact of each country. Scientometrics, 98(1), 197–209. doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1036-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cornwall, M. (2010). From the editor: Ten most likely ways an article submission fails to live up to publishing standards. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 49(4), i–v. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01531.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cotton, C. (2013). Submission fees and response times in academic publishing. The American Economic Review, 103(1), 501–509. doi: 10.1257/aer.103.1.501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davidson, C. N. (2004). The Futures of Scholarly Publishing. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 35(3), 129–142. doi: 10.3138/jsp.35.3.129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis, P. M., Lewenstein, B. V., Simon, D. H., Booth, J. G., & Connolly, M. J. L. (2008). Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: Randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 337(7665), a568. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Meis, L., Velloso, A., Lannes, D., Carmo, M. S., & de Meis, C. (2003). The growing competition in Brazilian science: Rites of passage, stress and burnout. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 36(9), 1135–1141. doi: 10.1590/S0100-879X2003000900001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Villiers, M. M., & Malan, S. F. (1997). Publish or perish: How is pharmacy research coping in a changing South Africa? South African Journal of Science, 93(8), 355–358.Google Scholar
  13. Didegah, F., Thelwall, M., & Gazni, A. (2012). An international comparison of journal publishing and citing behaviours. Journal of Informetrics, 6(4), 516–531. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2012.04.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eger, T., Scheufen, M., & Meierrieks, D. (2015). The determinants of open access publishing: Survey evidence from Germany. European Journal of Law and Economics, 39(3), 475–503. doi: 10.1007/s10657-015-9488-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ellisson, G. (2002a). Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory. Journal of Political Economy, 110(5), 994–1034. doi: 10.1086/341871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellisson, G. (2002b). The slowdown of the economics publishing process. Journal of Political Economy, 110(5), 947–993. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.234802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fanelli, D. (2010). Do pressures to publish increase scientists’ bias? An empirical support from US states data. PLoS ONE, 5(4), e10271. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fiala, D. (2013). Science evaluation in the Czech republic: The case of universities. Societies, 3(3), 266–279. doi: 10.3390/soc3030266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fiala, D., & Willett, P. (2015). Computer science in Eastern Europe 1989–2014: A bibliometric study. ASLIB Journal of Information Management, 67(5), 526–541. doi: 10.1108/AJIM-02-2015-0027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Forgues, B., & Liarte, S. (2013). Academic publishing: Past and future. M@n@gement, 16(5), 739–756. doi: 10.3917/mana.165.0739.Google Scholar
  21. Franceschet, M., & Costantini, A. (2010). The effect of scholar collaboration on impact and quality of academic papers. Journal of Informetrics, 4(4), 540–553. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2010.06.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hilmer, M. J., & Hilmer, C. E. (2009). Fishes, ponds, and productivity: Student-advisor matching and early career publishing success for economics PhDs. Economic Inquiry, 47(2), 290–303. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00108.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Icy, L. (2014). Publish or perish: The myth and reality of academic publishing. Language Teaching, 47(2), 250–261. doi: 10.1017/S0261444811000504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jokić, M., Zauder, K., & Letina, S. (2010). Croatian scholarly productivity 1991–2005 measured by journals indexed in Web of Science. Scientometrics, 83(2), 375–395. doi: 10.1007/s11192-009-0071-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Koczkodaj, W. W., Kułakowski, K., & Ligęza, A. (2014). On the quality evaluation of scientific entities in Poland supported by consistency-driven pairwise comparisons method. Scientometrics, 99(3), 911–926. doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1258-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kozak, M., Bornmann, L., & Leydesdorff, L. (2015). How have the Eastern European countries of the former Warsaw Pact developed since 1990? A bibliometric study. Scientometrics, 102(2), 1101–1117. doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1439-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kund, O. (2016). The dark side of Estonian science: Paid articles in trashy magazines. Postimees. 27.1.2016.
  28. Masaryk University. (2016). MU’s Position on Predatory Publishing and Open Access Scholarly Journals. 7.1.2016.
  29. Leslie, D. (2005). Are delays in academic publishing necessary? The American Economic Review, 95(1), 407–413. doi: 10.1257/0002828053828608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Libkind, A. N., Markusova, V. A., & Mindeli, L. E. (2013). Bibliometric indicators of Russian journals by JCR-science edition, 1995–2010. Acta Naturae, 5(3), 6–12.Google Scholar
  31. Markusova, V. A., Libkind, A. N., Varshavsly, A. E., & Jansz, C. N. M. (2012). Research performance and collaboration in the Novosibirsk region. Scientometrics, 91(2), 513–526. doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0597-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Must, Ü. (2006). “New”countries in Europe-research, development and innovation strategies versus bibliometric data. Scientometrics, 66(2), 241–248. doi: 10.1007/s11192-006-0016-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pajić, D. (2015). Globalization of the social sciences in Eastern Europe: Genuine breakthrough or a slippery slope of the research evaluation practice? Scientometrics, 102(3), 2131–2150. doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1510-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pajić, D., & Jevremov, T. (2014). Globally national–locally international: Bibliometric analysis of a SEE psychology journal. Psihologija, 47(2), 263–277. doi: 10.2298/PSI1402263P.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Qiu, J. (2010). Publish or perish in China. Nature, 463(7278), 142–143. doi: 10.1038/463142a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rahman, A. I. M., Guns, R., & Engels, T. C. E. (2015). Predatory open access journals in a performance-based funding model: A comparison of journals in version VI of the VABB-SHW with Beall’s list and DOAJ. Antwerp: ECOOM. 22.12.2016.
  37. Ray, M. (2016). An expanded approach to evaluating open access journals. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 47(4), 307–327. doi: 10.3138/jsp.47.4.307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rond, M., & Miller, A. N. (2005). Publish or perish: Bane or boon of academic life? Journal of Management Inquiry, 14(4), 321–329. doi: 10.1177/1056492605276850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Samkin, G. (2011). Academic publishing: A faustian bargain? Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, 5(1), 19–34.Google Scholar
  40. Schmoch, U., & Schubert, T. (2008). Are international co-publications an indicator for quality of scientific research? Scientometrics, 74(3), 361–377. doi: 10.1007/s11192-007-1818-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scopus.(2016).
  42. Seglen, P. O. (1997). Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. British Medical Journal, 314(7079), 498–502. doi: 10.1136/bmj.314.7079.497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Somoza-Fernández, M., Rodríguez-Gairín, J., & Urbano, C. (2016). Presence of alleged predatory journals in bibliographic databases: Analysis of beall’s list. El Profesional de la Información, 25(5), 730–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Teodorescu, D., & Andrei, T. (2014). An examination of “citation circles” for social sciences journals in Eastern European countries. Scientometrics, 99(2), 209–231. doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1210-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tessensohn, J. A., & Yamamoto, S. (2007). Japan’s novelty grace period solves the dilemma of ‘publish and perish’. Nature Biotechnology, 25(1), 55–57. doi: 10.1038/nbt0107-55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thursby, J. G. (2000). What do we say about ourselves and what does it mean? Yet another look at economics department research. Journal of Economic Literature, 38(2), 383–404. doi: 10.1257/jel.38.2.383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tranekova, I. (2016). Limity pragmatizmu v humanitnych vedach. Pravda. 21.1.2016.
  48. Vanecek, J. (2014). The effect of performance-based research funding on output of R&D results in the Czech Republic. Scientometrics, 98(1), 657–681. doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1061-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ward, S. M. (2016). The rise of predatory publishing: How to avoid being scammed. Weed Science, 64(4), 772–778. doi: 10.1614/WS-D-16-00080.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Web of Science. (2016 and 2017).
  51. Yan, C. M., & He, C. J. (2015). To be or not to be? The “publish or perish” syndrome for english teacher educators in China. Frontiers of Education in China, 10(4), 526–543. doi: 10.3868/s110-004-015-0039-0.Google Scholar
  52. Yuret, T. (2016). Is it easier to publish in journals that have low impact factors? Applied Economics Letters, 23(11), 801–803. doi: 10.1080/13504851.2015.1109034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Chemical and Food TechnologySlovak University of Technology in BratislavaBratislavaSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Sport Science and InnovationsLithuanian Sports UniversityKaunasLithuania
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and ManagementUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia

Personalised recommendations