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The Impact of Publishing During PhD Studies on Career Research Publication, Visibility, and Collaborations

Abstract

This study analyzes the impact that publishing during the period of PhD study has on researchers’ future knowledge production, impact, and co-authorship. The analysis is based on a representative sample of PhDs from all fields of science working in Portugal. For each researcher in the dataset, we compiled a lifetime publication record and respective meta-data retrieved from Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Our results extend the previous literature by showing that those who publish during their PhD have greater research production and productivity, and greater numbers of yearly citations and citations throughout their career compared to those who did not publish during their PhD. Moreover, it is found that those who publish during their PhD are more adept to publish single-authored publications and engage in publications with peers based abroad, thus suggesting both higher levels of scientific autonomy and international collaboration dynamics.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See also Chinchilla-Rodríguez, Z., Moya-Anegón, F., Vargas-Quesada, B., Corera-Álvarez, E., and Hassan-Montero, Y., Inter-institutional scientific collaboration: an approach from social network, conference paper at the Prime Europe-Latin American Conference on Science and Innovation Policy 2008, Mexico City, 24–26 September 2008.

  2. 2.

    Due to the often cited problematic use of citations as measures of publication quality, it was decided in this study to consider citations as measures of visibility, which the literature assumes as a reasonable and acceptable stance (see Bornmann 2013; Randíc 2009; van Raan 1996).

  3. 3.

    In order to calculate the estimated marginal means from which we calculated the gains, we repeated the initial GLM analysis, but the continuous “Publications during PhD” variable was dichotomized as a dummy variable in order to compare subjects with and without publications during their PhD studies. The model matched the results presented in Table 1. The Table with the variable “Publications during PhD studies” as a dummy can be made available to readers upon direct request to the authors of this manuscript.

  4. 4.

    In the following analysis, we opted to use the non-normalized publications. This was a methodological decision, based on the fact that it would make little sense to discount the independent variable by number of authors, when co-authorship is simultaneously an intrinsic component of the dependent variables. Doing so would artificially deflate or inverse the relationship between both variables.

  5. 5.

    As before, we dichotomized the publications during the PhD count variable in order to obtain exponential parameter estimates for subjects with and without early publications. The model matched the previously shown results; as such, it was considered redundant and is thus not shown here.

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Horta, H., Santos, J.M. The Impact of Publishing During PhD Studies on Career Research Publication, Visibility, and Collaborations. Res High Educ 57, 28–50 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-015-9380-0

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Keywords

  • Publishing during the PhD
  • Effect of PhD publications on career publications and citations
  • Collaboration patterns of career publications
  • Research productivity