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ElySiae

Publishing during PhD in social sciences

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Hello,

I just started my PhD in political science and was wondering how many publications average PhD students have by the time of graduation in social sciences. I know productive publishing is crucial to land a TT job, but what does it concretely mean to be productive at publishing?

Thanks!

 

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The vague sense I've settled on after listening/reading a dozen different people do a very good job not actually answering this question is that if you graduate with a social sciences Ph.D. and have something like 5-8 publications that would be pretty solid for going after academic jobs.

(The "average" is probably lower. And the "average" social science Ph.D. graduate never gets a TT job.)

Also, obviously it depends on the quality of the publications too! Are you the first author on anything? Sole author on anything? Are they published in the big journals in your field? Do your publications suggest a coherent body of work?

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25 minutes ago, Glasperlenspieler said:

There are two good answers to this question:

1. Talk to your advisor.

2. Look at the CVs of recent PhDs who got TT jobs.

This is the best advice. And do it early in your career, since publications take quite a bit of time. Not all projects will make it that far, so you can't count on a publication for each one you embark on.

Having a pipeline is important, too. You might not have as many publications, but if you have a few in R&R status (especially a few rounds in, if your journals have the same process as mine), some in manuscript prep status or in data collection status, you clearly are on the right track to maintaining your productivity in the eyes of potential employers. 

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There’s also no guarantee that publications will guarantee success, unfortunately. It’s not all about hard work, but also about what school you went to, who your advisor knows, and how your research fits the department 

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:46 PM, CozyD said:

The vague sense I've settled on after listening/reading a dozen different people do a very good job not actually answering this question is that if you graduate with a social sciences Ph.D. and have something like 5-8 publications that would be pretty solid for going after academic jobs.

(The "average" is probably lower. And the "average" social science Ph.D. graduate never gets a TT job.)

Also, obviously it depends on the quality of the publications too! Are you the first author on anything? Sole author on anything? Are they published in the big journals in your field? Do your publications suggest a coherent body of work?

I think this depends on the field too. SPSP (social psychology) recently did a review of this. It also really matters WHICH journal you publish in. Then there's the whole thing does your line of work fit with the department (as does your teaching statement, diversity statemetn, etc.), coherence, etc. 

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I went to the market last year and landed a TT job. Now I am participating, as faculty, in search discussions for next year. Though publications signal scholarship, quantity is never an issue. I’m in the humanities, so having too many publications or too many conference presentations often raises some eyebrows: why is this person not writing their dissertation? 
 

My advice would be to think strategically about your CV lines, including publications. Rather than focusing on how many you have, maybe think on how you can engage different audiences by publishing in the different journals/blogs/etc. 

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12 hours ago, AP said:

I went to the market last year and landed a TT job. Now I am participating, as faculty, in search discussions for next year. Though publications signal scholarship, quantity is never an issue. I’m in the humanities, so having too many publications or too many conference presentations often raises some eyebrows: why is this person not writing their dissertation? 
 

My advice would be to think strategically about your CV lines, including publications. Rather than focusing on how many you have, maybe think on how you can engage different audiences by publishing in the different journals/blogs/etc. 

I'm a first-year student in social psych, so I want to acknowledge that you definitely have insight into this from a direction I don't!

But the impression I've gotten is that social sciences and humanities may have really different cultures around this question.

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On 12/31/2019 at 2:49 AM, CozyD said:

I'm a first-year student in social psych, so I want to acknowledge that you definitely have insight into this from a direction I don't!

But the impression I've gotten is that social sciences and humanities may have really different cultures around this question.

Absolutely, they do have different publishing cultures but I still think it's important to think strategically and not voraciously try to publish for the sake of hitting a number. Or would you say this is the culture among social sciences? 

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anyone in social psych who tells you the number of publications matters.. well. 5 papers in Journal of Happiness Studies still doesnt weigh up to one publication in JPSP (for social psych).

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