No metrics for postdocs: Precarious labour in science policy

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Title: No metrics for postdocs: Precarious labour in science policy
Authors: Ma, Lai
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Date: 15-Jul-2021
Online since: 2022-07-11T11:29:57Z
Abstract: In recent years, the pressure of producing impacts such as the creation of intellectual property and other commercialisation activities ('knowledge transfer') has increasingly dominated the discourse of research institutions and universities. Research projects can be comparable to 'gigs' when they employ postdocs on precarious fixed-term contracts. However, there seems to be little consideration in research and science policy about the career development of postdocs beyond funded projects and there seems to be no metrics about the contributions of postdocs to knowledge production, nor data about 'brain drain' as a result of precarious contracts. Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with postdocs, PIs, and support staff, this study aims to understand the perceived roles of postdocs as a career stage and the perceived success factors that help them transitioning from precarious contracts to long-term academic/research positions. The work-in-progress paper will discuss some preliminary findings including the meanings and contexts of postdoc, as well as the problems and issues of precarious, fixed-term contracts in relation to publication and knowledge production. This paper also calls for comprehensive data collection and analysis about the contributions by postdoctoral researchers and the potential loss of knowledge as a result of the precariousness of academic career.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Start page: 711
End page: 715
Keywords: Postdoctoral experiencesScience and research policyCareer stagesPseudo-employees
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, ISSI 2021
Conference Details: 18th International Conference on Scientometrics & Informetrics (ISSI 2021), virtual event, KU Leuven, Belgium, 12-15 July 2021
ISBN: 9789080328228
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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