After reading a 2019 Washington Post op-ed calling for a mandatory retirement age for professors, Dr. Bill Savage, Senior Researcher at the Academic Analytics Research Center (AARC), wanted to explore whether it is the case that senior scholars produce fewer research publications than their younger colleagues. In collaboration with AARC Director Dr. Anthony J. Olejniczak, they conducted a study documenting publication patterns across multiple formats in different age groups (the preprint version of the manuscript is available here. The manuscript is currently in revision at a scientometrics-focused journal).

The research paper, Research publication productivity among senior faculty at Ph.D.-granting institutions in the United States, addresses several questions about senior faculty research activity and publishing across disciplines:
  • What is the age distribution of faculty members, and how many publications (journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and book chapters in edited volumes) do different age cohorts produce?
  • Within a discipline and age cohort, how many scholars participate in each mode of publication?
  • Do scholars at more prestigious or resource-rich institutions follow a different age-related trajectory than their colleagues at other institution types?