How does publication pressure in modern-day universities affect the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in science? By using a worldwide survey among demographers in developed and developing countries, we show that the large majority perceive the publication pressure as high, but more so in Anglo-Saxon countries and to a lesser extent in Western Europe. However, scholars see both the pros (upward mobility) and cons (excessive publication and uncitedness, neglect of policy issues, etc.) of the so-called ‘publish-or-perish’ culture.
By measuring behavior in terms of reading and publishing, and perceived extrinsic rewards and stated intrinsic rewards of practicing science, it turns out that publication pressure negatively affects the orientation of demographers towards policy and knowledge of the population facts. There are no signs that the pressure affects reading and publishing outside the core discipline.