Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Postdoc Output: Place, Not Parenthood, Is Key

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Postdoc Output: Place, Not Parenthood, Is Key

Article excerpt

Postdoctoral researchers based in universities publish more on average than those based in research centres, according to new research.

The study, published in Plos One, also found that postdoctoral researchers with children tend to have the same research output as those without children.

And the survey of around 200 postdoctoral researchers revealed that two-thirds believe that their job prospects are "difficult".

The authors, Fatima Felisberti, a senior lecturer in psychology at Kingston University, and Rebecca Sear, a reader at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, surveyed postdoctoral researchers via emails sent to heads of departments at UK universities and an invitation posted on the Vitae website.

They say that it is not clear why postdoctoral researchers in universities publish more than those in research centres.

"It could be linked to the use of more complex equipment and techniques in highly specialised research centres, which could have led to more time-consuming experiments and, therefore, fewer publications," they say in the paper published on 4 April. Groups at research centres tend to be larger, which could lead to each individual in the group having a "relatively small output", add Dr Felisberti and Dr Sear. …

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