We’re struggling constantly with the pressure of publish or perish, but how beneficial is it to pad your CV? I came across an article about “Publication alternatives: thinking outside the bench”, which offers some suggestions on how to publish through channels that don’t involve your PI. It seems to be more directed at people interested in pursuing positions with heavy teaching loads, but I wonder if CV padding could help those interested in research-intensive positions as well? As my current PI said in frustration one day, “Some people only know how to count, not read”.
I have trouble believing however, that a publication in the “Journal of Postdoctoral Affairs”, to take an example from the article, would really help anyone in a scientific research career. The only exception to this I can think of is perhaps at an undergraduate or graduate level when sometimes any published productivity at all can nudge you ahead of your peers. But for postdocs, I don’t really see any way to pad your CV with relevant papers that doesn’t involve going through your PI.
I think it is worth it however, to have a keen eye for teasing small papers out of the ‘big’ ones without affecting the impact. For instance, maybe a novel technique used in the paper could be published in a methods-based journal without diluting the impact of the findings. These would basically be bonus papers.
I dunno, I basically just thought it was interesting to re-post this for anyone who might be looking at science writing or teaching as post-postdoctoral career choices 🙂