MIT's Pierre Azoulay studies scientists' productivity and in a Q&A with The Scientist says scientific productivity is measured "badly." It is done through "proxies — things like counts of publications, of patents, of citations to those publications or to those patents," he says. Azoulay also discusses the effect of funding style on productivity, comparing NIH-funded researchers to HHMI researchers. "What we found is that, in terms of impact, the HHMI [funded scientists] really produce a lot more high impact papers than the controls," he says. "Is this because of incentives or because of other things? We can't be quite definitive. Maybe [what] matters is just the increased resources. And we can't really solve that out with our data."
Nose to the Grindstone
Jul 15, 2010