What does "published" mean in the academic world?

Everytime I see posts on here about uni teaching jobs someone usually brings up that the university that you work for expects you to “publish”.

If you are studying for a masters degree or a PHD isnt there a requirement to be “published”?

If you are a lecturer or hold any sort of job in the academic world do you need to “publish” regularly?

What does to be “published” actually mean in all of the above examples?

My best guess is that the author takes the work that he or she produces, either as part of their teaching job or as part of their advanced degree studies, and then sees if any magazines or journals want to put it in their periodical. I would imagine that there will be some sort of remunuration offered aswell.

However in todays digital age isnt it the case that everyone can publish themselves on the internet?

I believe “being published” in this context means having peer-reviewed articles appear in often-cited journals and books that are recognized (by someone outside your family at least)

I don’t think you need to publish papers for most Master’s degrees.

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It depends on the level and whether you want to keep working there. But basically yes … until you get tenure and have a lot more freedom in terms of what you do and do not write. But the system is set up so that those who aren’t inclined to publish anyway aren’t led toward tenure.

What Goose Egg said.

Repurposing a dissertation is a common strategy for an early publication. But significant revision is almost always required.

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

That doesn’t count. You need to impress a jury of your peers (people established in your field), and often should do so through blind review (i.e., the reviewers aren’t given the name of the author whose work they’re evaluating for possible publication – though in some cases it’s not too hard to guess).


Goose Egg and cranky are right, “publishing” involves peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and/or peer-reviewed books published by academic presses. These publications are the outputs of your research. Regular magazines, anything online, your thesis, and so on are not “publishing.” Generally, if it hasn’t undergone a formal peer-review process, then it doesn’t count in academia. For articles, the authors get jack. For books, the authors in theory get some money, but it typically amounts to about nothing. The exception to the peer-reviewed rule may be for creative fields - if you teach art, or music, or theater, or creative writing or something, then producing a work of art, music, theater, or creative writing might count, but I don’t really know how those work.

I’ve never heard of a Master’s program that requires you to publish. Some PhD programs require you to have published one or two papers in order to graduate, but most don’t. Even if they don’t, though, it is generally expected that a PhD student will attempt to turn their thesis into a published book or multiple articles.

For academic jobs, it depends heavily on the type of job and the type of school. A lecturer at a two year college most likely does not need to publish, but an assistant professor at a research university needs to publish like crazy, because they are expected to do research, and publishing is the proof that new research has been done. Any place that has a graduate program will almost certainly expect its faculty to be publishing. If you get hired on a term contract to teach a few classes, then nobody will really care if you publish or not, but you are unlikely to ever advance without publications.

There’s no requirement for a Ph.D candidate to have published in order to graduate, but in the real world these days, if you haven’t presented a couple of papers to major conferences or gotten them into good journals prior to graduation, your job hunt will be…difficult. Not impossible, but often difficult.

Actually I think I need to have published something to finish my PhD - or at least that’s what some of my classmates think. Then again, they’ve been wildly wrong before, and no one really knows what the rules are.

Published = peer reviewed journal. There’s also a ranking system for the journals, and at least in Taiwan you get different points based on which journal you’re published in. I haven’t heard much about renumeration from the journal itself, but if you get into a high-ranked journal I think many Taiwanese universities will give you a bonus - I have a vague impression the bonuses max out at around 2 months’ salary.

In many universities, there IS a requirement to have at least one or two articles published in international peer-reviewed journals as part of the graduation requirements. Academia Sinica certainly does that in its molecular biology PhD program.

and publishing an article (i.e., submitting it for publication) actually costs a lot of money. In some journals, this runs to thousands of dollars, especially if you have many colour figures in your article. Normally this is covered by grant money, or some university departments have a fund that you can call on to help.

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There are individual programs that have different requirements, but there is generally no requirement to publish as a prerequisite for graduation.

Sometimes getting published in an “academic” journal can happen more quickly than expected, as this case shows. :rofl:

This is a published paper sent to the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology in response to spam. The author thought the editors would read and reject it, but they automatically accepted requesting a fee of $150, with an anonymous reviewer rating it as “excellent”

Source: https://twitter.com/georgemorgan54/status/1637332192237076481



That’s a spam scam “open source journal,” not anything resembling an academic journal. If someone actually claims to have submitted to it thinking they’d get rejected, they also didn’t do any research into it - most likely they submitted knowing it’s a scam to generate clickbait about that article getting accepted.


They are commonly called “predatory journals.”

There’s a lot of discussion about them, centered on the tireless work of Jeffrey Beall and others.


When you actually spend time doing stuff and reading loads of research I. the Hope’s of implementing such info, the term “published” becomes more of a formality than anything useful. hit or miss basically.

Taiwan loves people to publish with credits given to Taiwan. thus should ring alarm bells, as it does withmkst actually doing things outside of research or Grants.

peer reviewed and some other terms are probably better. but published alone, all I can say is we all read a lot and tend to disregard a lot as well.

People who work in universities need publications for very real reasons. Getting and keeping jobs, promotions and bonuses, etc. It’s like being a sports player and scoring points. Except more useful to society

Oh yeah, doesn’t count if it isn’t peer reviewed. Things like the Conversation are cute but not real journal publications

I’ve “published” a lot on forumosa. Are you telling me this doesn’t count? :rofl:


I fully agree withthat, but the issue i was trying to mention seems to be what is worthy now. it depends largely on the audience and acceptance. hence peer review. A “worthy” audience to filter out the trash. this issue I was mentioning is that the quality of stock seems to be degrading in recent years. for whatever reasons, there are many, but the overall trend in the field I work in (biology, field mostly) is that the papers are becoming…well…shittier. my opinion of course, many disagree. but I base the opinion on both the purposes of the study as well as the writing/editing quality. there are still good ones, no question. but there are an increasing number that appear to be more for grant money than to actually be solving problems or innovating cutting edge science. Even if so many are fluff, we all still.read them. but so many remind me of stoner teenage years where wording is confused. I find forums, social media to be fine to be scatter brained on, it isnt a paid gig. but papers should absolutely be held to the highest standard. there is also a problem with "standards"i. academia. that being new ideas that dont conform to their religion are often snuffed. so I find “journals” to be retarded from both of those ends. and it seems to be deteriorating rather than improving, to be honest. that said, I dont read tech or other industry papers. but in biology at large, this has been my observation for a while.

Correct. Doesnt count. But if your journal registers book/journal/online coding and pays you…yes you are published. this is both good and bad, at the same time. There are threads here talking about why things are rejected in review, and they point out the obvious, even if people dont want to recognize it. never feel bad about credit not given. any true researcher cares about the data being public and understood. everything after is simply luxury.

That’s all pretty spot on. Most papers are never read let alone cited. A lot of it is about politics and ego, not quality. The system is terrible

It took me 3 years to get one paper published. It was so grueling (conducting the research, making sense of the research, plotting the data, finding sources, writing the paper, several rejections, several rewrites, several requested revisions, more rewrites, final publication) I’m not sure I ever want to write one again. I keep getting pressured to, but it almost made me quit academia completely.

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My first few papers weren’t very good but got published very quickly.

Now the work I do is much better, and almost nobody wants it. Egos and politics.

Anyways, publish or perish.

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I might choose “perish” then.

Now I’m writing textbooks and it’s a lot less stressful.

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