Can a medical researcher have too many publications?

Anthony F Jorm
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00194
Published online: 7 September 2015

The most prolific researchers may not be adhering to authorship guidelines

Medical research is a very competitive business, with a low success rate for grants and fellowships. To survive the competition, a researcher needs strong performance indicators, chief of which is the number of publications and associated citations. With publications, more is generally seen as better. However, I argue that very high publication rates should be seen as indicating poor authorship practices and should be discounted in evaluating track record.

  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC



I am supported by an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship.

Competing interests:

According to Publish or Perish, I authored 36 articles in 2014.

  • 1. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, Universities Australia. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Canberra: Australian Government, 2007.
  • 2. Surowiecki J. The wisdom of crowds: why the many are smarter than the few. London: Abacus, 2004.
  • 3. Santos I, Duarte C, Maher D, et al. Tackling unethical authorship deals on scientific publications. The Conversation. 2015; 2 Feb. (accessed Feb 2015).


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