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Is there a standard research career? The unintended consequences of task specialisation in science

Researchers collaborate by specialising in specific tasks. However, research evaluation systems tend to reward some research profiles over others. From the vantage point of research bureaucracy, research careers are envisioned as homogeneous pathways in which individuals take a series of steps to advance. In each step, researchers must comply with certain criteria, usually so embedded into expectations of scientists that many countries and supranational agencies explicitly outline exactly what is expected of individuals at each stage. The rationale behind this is to ensure that career paths align with academic positions. However, in a recent study we observed that not only do scientists exhibit different profiles based on their task specialisation, but that these profiles change over time, potentially impacting their career prospects.

Source: The London School of Economics and Political Science. Read all the paper.

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