Quality or Quantity: A Puzzle for Researchers

Frankly, this is not a suitable topic for me due to my limited experience on both research and academic given my present education as only a graduating master’s student. However, my limited experience, as well as my coming PhD life in Lancaster, do bring me an opportunity to think about: when doing some research, given two dimensions as measurement of the work as quality and quantity, which shall I prefer?

  1. Approaching

    I got to know the importance of publication when I was a student in Nanjing Normal University, where there was a professor that used to be, and is still devoting much to publish his so-called papers to various journals. He was quite fond of this, and take pride of his ‘works’. In fact, I was totally misunderstand by him that in my mind at that time, publication means everything related to money. You get your paper published since you paid for that. This misunderstanding is only partially recovered when i continued my study in Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, a present school of mine, and participated some conferences.

    I learned much more on the essentials of publication when taking part in the research work, following my supervisor, who is quite a determined researcher at that time. Gradually I find that , more than 99% of the papers that the professor, whom I met in Nanjing Normal University, are totally junks. Neither contemporary research methodology nor the standard research framework is adapted. Thanks for the supervision of Professor Wang, my master’s supervisor, that taught me both the methodology and framework that a contemporary researcher should be able to master.

    Three years study following Professor Wang does broaden my horizon. I learned he cuteness of publication, the benefit that may bring you through the publication. for me, writing papers do bring me great opportunity of travelling and talking to the professors outside. the 20008 trip to Honolulu is still admired by many of my classmates even today. What’s more, it is the publication and its attraction promoted me another chance, i participated the training camp for young researchers in business school of mainland China. it is in that speech I got to know two famous professors, Joseph and TJ. Their two-week lecture that summer bring me better understanding of this field. Though I can hardly use that freely at present.

  2. Quality or Quantity: Two Different Principles

    In fact there has been contradictions following the words of Joseph and TJ, and the styles that most Chinese scholars adapt. If it is not the online discussion with Li this afternoon, I won’t write this post. Li is both a faculty of jinan University and a post-doctoral fellow in CEIBS, a top business school in China. Thanks to Li that I learned, the routine that Joseph and TJ suggested should be regarded as a fitness for those who are willing to publish on top journals. but, it is necessary to aware that publishing on top journals can be time consuming, and what’s more, it is fully risky. I don’t know much about publications in UK, but in China, a faculty without any publication for a couple of years would mean quite a lot, much more than the publication itself.

    so the questions following this discussion raised. Quantity or quality, which do you prefer? I suppose there is no scholar, no matter whether he/she is a world renowned professor or a fresh PhD candidate, would reject the willing of publish high-quality paper, given no consideration on particular capability here. A widely accepted publication with good reference recording can significantly promote your reputation within the field of study, and, you would be able to contact with good scholars. However, you have to pay for that.

    The pride for such a paper, indeed, includes years of hard working, good understanding of classical papers and fundamental theory, as well as the risk of rejection by the editorial board. Can you afford that? Frankly speaking, i don’t think I would afford this, especially when I am working for an academic institution in China. Only adequate publications can help bring you promotion, which means higher social status and better income. In my opinion, the policy on publication may also contribute a lot to the reduction of education quality nowadays of most universities in China. Do you think the students can be offered good education when their teachers are busying with the publication and have no time to prepare for the courses?

  3. An Unanswered Question

    For my own preference, it is hard to tell here. I do want some of my own works with good quality and reputation within my field of study. However, it is quite ideal to talk about that with my present knowledge as well as my unexpected future. As is suggested by a ‘Top-down’ framework that indicates the high priority of institutional background, obeying the rule is, though sometimes contradicting your willing but undoubtedly, an optimized choice.

6 thoughts on “Quality or Quantity: A Puzzle for Researchers”

  1. 由于众说周知的原因和不可抗拒的外力,我放在Feedburner上的订阅服务已经挂了(墙外的访问不受影响),新的订阅地址为:http://feed.niphanin.net,欢迎并感谢您重新订阅。


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