Friday, 19 June 2015

The Stress of Academia in the Publish or Perish Encapsulated World

Indeed, we've all heard the quote "publish or perish" when it comes to the world of academia. There is also a lot of stress that happens amongst professors who cannot keep up with the need to publish research papers in a robust and rapid fashion, while continuing to teach their various classes. Not only that, but their research papers must be somewhat cutting edge, and on the leading edge of their area of expertise in that scientific niche.
Some professors get very good at it, publishing papers that is, as they use a specific format, and have grad students assist, and they can pump out those papers effortlessly. I am amazed sometimes. But, for me they are time consuming, and editing is tedious and slow. Now then, of course I am not an academic, or a scientific researcher, although I do run a think tank, and therefore am constantly interacting and interfacing with the academic world even though I have a slight disdain for it having quit school to run my company in my 20s.
There are many students who would love to study science, whether it is the pseudo-sciences or social sciences, or the hard sciences. Some choose not to stay in the academic field or become a professor because they are intimidated by the stress of having to constantly put out scientific work, and write research papers. In many ways writing the research papers and staying in the flow of production is both an art and a science. Those that do well at this will eventually begin teaching tenure, and enjoy a high-paying and successful and rewarding career as an academic professor, those that can't like the quote says; Will Perish.
Over the years, I've met many researchers who were quite prolific and have written well over 100 research papers, often writing them with their grad students, and dutifully signing their name to the work as the lead investigator or scientist. This is one way to do it, and perhaps the academic students do all the work, along with all the editing, and formatting make sure it is exactly correct as per the academic standards, or to the request of whichever scientific journal, or academic conference they are presenting to. It sure helps if someone else can do most of the tedious work, and the academic professor can concentrate on their specific area or niche of science.
Best of all, if they become the recognized leader in the field, and don't start too many wars, they will slide through the peer review process very easily and quickly as the most authoritative source on the subject matter. If you plan on becoming a lifetime academic in the encapsulated world of higher education, perhaps you should consider all this, and not be intimidated by the large buildings, or the hoops one must go through to stay in the flow of the publish or perish world. Please consider all this and think on it.
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