Research shows that older scientists publish more than younger ones

This week’s edition of Nature News highlights a recent paper published by researchers at the University of Quebec which looked at the authors’ age and number of papers published.

The paper showed that older scientists are at least as productive as their younger counterparts, if not a little bit more. The research team looked at the publication record of nearly 14,000 professors and found that those in their 50s and 60s published almost twice as many papers each year as those in their early 30s. What’s more, the papers are just as highly cited.

The findings held across both the sciences and the humanities.

The survey, say its authors, is the strongest evidence yet that older scientists are at least as productive as their juniors, if not more productive.

The reader comments at the end of the article are especially interesting. They shed some light on the views younger researchers have on the current research environment and scholarly communications system. For example, one reader comments:

Well, the older professors are also more established and have more connections, and therefore can participate in both small and large collaborative projects. No offence, but this survey only seems to prove an already obvious point.

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