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Counting stars: contribution of early career scientists to marine and fisheries sciences

journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-14, 13:33 authored by Szymon Smoliński, Daniel Ottmann RieraDaniel Ottmann Riera, Okko OutinenOkko Outinen, Amanda Schadeberg, Valentina MelliValentina Melli, Lara Funk, Côme Denechaud, Alina M. Wieczorek, Alessandro OrioAlessandro Orio, Robert Mussgnug, Rasa Morkūnė, Emilie Hernes Vereide, Maja Zdulska, Genevieve PhillipsGenevieve Phillips, Fedor Lishchenko, Greta Srėbalienė

Published in ICES Journal of Marine Science Volume 79, Issue 9, Pages 2351–2361 

Scientific careers and publishing have radically changed in recent  decades creating an increasingly competitive environment for early  career scientists (ECS). The lack of quantitative data available on ECS  in marine and fisheries sciences prevents direct assessment of the  consequences of increased competitiveness. We assessed the contributions  of ECS (up to 6 years post first publication) to the field using an  indirect approach by investigating the authorships of peer-reviewed  articles. We analysed 118461 papers published by 184561 authors in the  top 20 marine and fisheries sciences journals over the years 1991–2020.  We identified a positive long-term trend in the proportion of scientific  articles (co-)authored by ECS. This suggests a growing contribution by  ECS to publications in the field. However, the mean proportion of ECS  (co-)authors within one publication declined significantly over the  study period. Subsequent tests demonstrated that articles with ECS  (co-)authors receive fewer citations and that the proportion of ECS  (co-)authors on an article has a significant negative effect on the  number of citations. We discuss the potential causes of these  inequalities and urge systematic support to ECS to achieve more balanced  opportunities for funding and publishing between ECS and senior  scientists. 


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative