Nathaniel Lambert Ph.D.

Publish and Prosper

Four Extrinsic Reasons to Publish

Why publishing Is crucial to both survive and to thrive.

Posted Oct 03, 2013

The carrot is a universal symbol of a reward that is motivating. A first step in making your research and writing a priority and to ultimately fulfill your potential as an author is to clearly establish the rewards you will receive so that you will be motivated to publish. Writing isn’t an easy task and you’ve got to have a compelling reason for spending your time on it. Here are four extrinsic reasons why you should try to publish as much as you can (some of the carrots to motivate you!):

1. Get a job. The National Science Foundation report found that only 62.6% of those who completed a Ph.D. in the humanities had any kind of employment at all. It’s a tough job market out there and being well published definitely increases your chances of getting picked. The number of part-time positions grew 280 percent between 1975 and 2009 according to a report by the American Association of University Professors. As a result, getting a tenure track position is increasingly more challenging. You need a way to set yourself apart from the hundreds of people that apply for every opening.

2. Make tenure. The phrase ‘publish or perish’ certainly holds its weight when it comes to the tenure process. Rather than dreading the tenure process as an experience fraught with the anxiety of wondering whether you’ll be around next year and what people are saying about you, imagine actually looking forward to the process as an opportunity to showcase your achievements and get a well-deserved raise.

3. Increase your raises. Those faculty members who do not produce are a drag on the system and aren’t rewarded. Most universities reward those who are producing high quantity and high caliber work with better raises. In fact, a very productive friend of mine saw his salary go up over 20% in five years (pre-tenure) due to his extraordinary productivity.

4. Gain respect and admiration. In most spheres of life, success is measured by money. We academics are different. For us, articles published in good journals are the “coin of the realm” and having several of them will help you gain considerable wealth in the realm of academics and garner respect among your colleagues.

Next time I post about priorities, I will describe some of the intrinsic reasons why you should get published. My next post will be on the topic of efficiency and I will discuss the Snow Fort Principle. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Why do you think publishing is important?

(For more information on this topic, check out my recently published book!)

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