To boost their research productivities, Chinese universities are putting great pressure on their research-active staff to publish in internationally indexed journals. However, the emerging publish-or-perish culture in China has seen little empirical investigation thus far.
In the research reported in this article, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven young researchers in science and engineering disciplines at a research-centered university in central China.
The study showed that these young scholars faced great pressure to publish papers in internationally indexed journals. Consequently, the participants were reluctant to spend time on other academic activities, including teaching training.
They also reported considerable work time devoted to writing, which resulted in fatigue and negatively affected family relations. The participants admitted that they had to rush to publish, and therefore were less likely to produce papers of better quality or those with novel discoveries.
The research contributes to our reflection upon Chinese universities’ increasing use of the number of international publications as a major assessment and incentive measurement of their faculties’ academic performance.
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