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A Double-Edged Sword

Over at her blog, Katie PhD says publication requirements for graduate students can be beneficial:

Not only do you prepare your work in the most polished way possible and deal with the peer review system first hand, you make your transition up the academic ladder far more straightforward. In some fields it is impossible to get a postdoctoral position without a good publication record, and forget trying to get a faculty position without them. By requiring at least one first author paper, then, a graduate program is helping its students.

Of course, once they've submitted their work, grad students have little control over the pace of publication. "A prospective PhD student could end up mired in this mess for a really long time through no fault of their own," she says of the peer review process, among other pre-publication procedures. For that and other reasons, Katie PhD says publication requirements can be detrimental:

The PhD experience is about so much more than publishing a paper (or two, or three), and while navigating peer-review successfully is an important part of a grad student’s training, all the other aspects of this training should not be overlooked. … We are here to learn to become independent researchers and educators, not slaves to the peer-review process.