Work Habits of Highly Cited Scientists

ResearchBlogging.org

In a recent paper in Scientometrics, a group of scientists examined what the social properties are of the most highly cited scientists in the fields of environmental science and ecology. They asked highly cited scientists (determined using ISIHighlyCited.com) to complete an online survey, and collected a wide variety of information, from demographics to perspectives on peer review.

The part that I found most intriguing was the analysis of work habits of these highly cited scientists. Specifically, they looked at how much time was spent on different categories of tasks, finding that these scientists spent about 25.5 hours per week on service-related tasks, and only about 23.5 hours on research activities. However, these highly cited scientists worked about 3.5 hours less overall than the average of those with doctoral degrees in their areas. In addition, the researchers looked at how much these high-impact scientists drink, finding an average of seven alcoholic drinks a week, which is 2.5 more than the average American.


Parker, J., Lortie, C., & Allesina, S. (2010). Characterizing a scientific elite: the social characteristics of the most highly cited scientists in environmental science and ecology Scientometrics, 85 (1), 129-143 DOI: 10.1007/s11192-010-0234-4

4 Responses to “Work Habits of Highly Cited Scientists”

  1. Long Ouyang December 13, 2010 at 1:19 am Permalink

    One thing to keep in mind is that the authors asked about current habits, which may have changed after becoming highly cited. Maybe these same scientists had worked extra hard before becoming highly-cited.

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