Productive writers

Some people write more than others. Some write a good deal more. What motivates these writers? How do they do it? Do we want to do it too?

There have been several studies of productive writers - but only a few recent ones that discuss writers enmeshed in new technology. The somewhat earlier studies fall into two main, but sometimes overlapping, categories:

1 studies of the faculty in a particular department or institution to see what organisational factors are associated with high productivity; and

2 studies of individuals who score highly on various measures of productivity in particular disciplines.

Most of these papers report data from postal questionnaires, but there are one or two with face-to-face and telephone interviews. Zainab (1999) and Barjak (2005) provide major overviews of the field.

Papers on productive faculties can be found for the following disciplines:

• agricultural education - Kotrlik et al. (2002);

• biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics — Allison and Long (1990);

• clinical pharmacy — Jungnickel and Creswell (1994);

• economics - Golden and Carstensen (1992);

• higher education — Creamer and McGuire (1998);

Papers on productive individuals can be found for the following disciplines:

• ancient history and classical archaeology - Hemlin (1996);

• arts and humanities - Hemlin and Gustafsson (1996);

• biochemistry and cell biology - Fonseca t al. (1997);

• education - Tschannen-Moran and Nestor-Baker (2004);

• information science - Cronin and Meho (2007);

• psychology — Hartley and Branthwaite (1989);

What do these studies tell us if we think about academic writing in terms of the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of writing, and the differences between writers discussed in Chapter 1.1?

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