Towards a new stable state: Equitably assessing trainee writing productivity post-COVID-19

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Freya Rowland, Kyra Prats, Yara Alshwairikh, Mary Burak, Ana Clara Fanton, Marlyse Duguid


The current academic ‘ecosystem’ prioritizes publications and has remained in this stable state despite increasing calls for change. Although writing is a strong determinant of academic success, certain groups may experience publishing barriers that may be amplified by disruptive events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we surveyed 342 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to assess (1) how identity predicted publishing outputs and (2) how the pandemic influenced feelings of writing productivity based on identity. We show that there were differential publication totals across identities. Respondents reported feeling less productive and motivated during the pandemic, despite having more time to write. BIPOC graduate students reported being the most negatively impacted. Since the pandemic disproportionately affected historically excluded groups, we urge the academic ‘ecosystem’ to transition away from an overemphasis on publication outputs and reach a new, more equitable stable state that evaluates accomplishments more holistically.



Disability and Equity in Education, Education, Gender Equity in Education, Higher Education


graduate student, identity, Pandemic, postdoctoral scholar, publications


Published: 2022-08-30 13:40


CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Data will be available on Dryad upon publication.