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Canadian Journal of Higher Education, v37 n1 p1-25 2007

Despite professors' education and socialization and the significant rewards they receive for research activities and output, the 80/20 rule seems to apply; that is, there exists a system of stars who produce a disproportionate volume of research such that most research tends to be undertaken by a small percentage of the academy (Erkut, 2002). Although a growing body of research seeks to address this imbalance, studies of research productivity have tended to reveal its institutional and non-behavioural antecedents. As a result, there exists very little research that considers the strategies that individuals employ to improve their personal research productivity. This exploratory, questionnaire-based study of a sample of Canadian professors attempts to address this gap by examining the relationship among a number of strategies, what professors report as being their average annual number of publications over the past five years, and their perceptions of their level of research productivity. Not surprisingly, in this study, we found that the amount of time that individuals invested in research activities predicted their level of research productivity. Additionally, strategically focusing one's research positively influenced journal publication levels, both directly and through its interaction with seeking resources (such as research grants). A strategic focus also positively predicted self-perceived research productivity through its interaction with managing ideas. Finally, although the perceived need to free up time from teaching and committee work was negatively related to journal publication levels, it was positively related to perceptions of productivity. (Contains 3 tables, 3 figures and 3 notes.)

Descriptors: Rewards, Interaction, Grants, Productivity, Faculty Publishing, Questionnaires, College Faculty, Foreign Countries, Publish or Perish Issue

Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. P.O. Box 34091, RPO Fort Richmond, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5T5, Canada. Tel: 204-474-6404; Fax: 204-474-7561; e-mail: csshe[at]; Web site:

Author: Ito, Jack K.; Brotheridge, Celeste M.


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