Sep 15, 2018


Ioannidis' report on hyperprolific authors (a) is challenging my intuitions about how academia works:

About half of the hyperprolific authors were in medical and life sciences (medicine n = 101, health sciences n = 11, brain n = 17, biology n = 6, infectious diseases n = 3). When we excluded conference papers, almost two-thirds belonged to medical and life sciences (86/131).

Among the 265 [hyperprolific authors], 154 authors produced more than the equivalent of one paper every 5 days for 2 or more calendar years; 69 did so for 4 or more calendar years.

The phenomenon has grown a lot since 2002:



We e-mailed all 265 authors asking for their insights about how they reached this extremely productive class...

Common themes were: hard work; love of research; mentorship of very many young researchers; leadership of a research team, or even of many teams; extensive collaboration; working on multiple research areas or in core services; availability of suitable extensive resources and data; culmination of a large project; personal values such as generosity and sharing; experiences growing up; and sleeping only a few hours per day.