Association between productivity and journal impact across disciplines and career age

Association between productivity and journal impact across disciplines and career age

Andre S. Sunahara, Matjaz Perc, Haroldo V. Ribeiro, Physical Review Research 3, 033158 (2021). PDF | DOI

The association between productivity and impact of scientific production is a long-standing debate in science that remains controversial and poorly understood. Here we present a large-scale analysis of the association between yearly publication numbers and average journal-impact metrics for the Brazilian scientific elite. We find this association to be discipline specific, career age dependent, and similar among researchers with outlier and nonoutlier performance. Outlier researchers either outperform in productivity or journal prestige, but they rarely do so in both categories. Nonoutliers also follow this trend and display negative correlations between productivity and journal prestige but with discipline-dependent intensity. Our research indicates that academics are averse to simultaneous changes in their productivity and journal-prestige levels over consecutive career years. We also find that career patterns concerning productivity and journal prestige are discipline-specific, having in common a raise of productivity with career age for most disciplines and a higher chance of outperforming in journal impact during early career stages.