(27 Oct 2022) Despite rules brought in two years ago to reduce publishing pressure on postgraduate students in China, severe pressure on research students continues to distort the research environment in the country, a new study has found.
A recently published paper by Hugo Horta, associate professor in the faculty of education at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and Huan Li, a PhD student at HKU, entitled “Nothing but publishing” provides up-to-date evidence of the scale of the overemphasis on publishing papers during doctoral studies in China and its detrimental impact on all other learning and activities.
“In each and every interview we conducted [with doctoral students], everything would be reduced to one thing, which was publications,” Horta told University World News. “This is really concerning. How is it that the whole PhD experience, which should be much more enriching and vast, and should be influenced by a set of different factors, is reduced to just one thing?”
The study draws on an analysis of 90 interviews with mainland Chinese doctoral students at research-oriented universities in China, as well as students in Hong Kong and Macau.
The paper notes that the need to publish “has become the most powerful and centralizing factor” perceived by the students. “The current dynamics in doctoral education are those of ‘publish or perish’, and those dynamics influence all aspects of both doctoral learning and career decision-making,” the paper states.
University World News has the story in full.