Why it makes sense to pay attention to reads when hiring

We looked at what it takes for scientists to get 500 or more reads on one of their publications on ResearchGate. We found that it takes a lot!

As you browse candidates’ profiles on ResearchGate you'll see that their publications have a counter that shows its total number of reads. What you can’t see is the amount of work it takes to achieve a milestone like 500 reads. That’s why we wanted to share with you what it takes – on average – for a researcher to get their first publication that cracks this threshold.

The following three graphs* all use a small anonymized sample of 10,000 scientists who have at least one publication with 500 or more reads. We looked at how many total reads, citations, and publications scientists had before hitting 500 for the first time.



Scientists had an average of 26 publications with a median of 10 publications before they got their first publication with 500 or more reads. 35 percent have between 0-4 publications before they get their first 500 read publication.






Scientists had an average of 653 citations with a median of 101 before they got their first publication with 500 or more reads. 24 percent have between 0-199 citations before getting their first 500 read publication.






Scientists had an average of 992 total reads with a median of 472 before they got their first publication with 500 or more reads. 25 percent of them have between 0-99 reads before getting their first 500 read publication.




We also looked at the strength of scientists’ networks based on how many 500 or more read publications they have. Below you can see that the networks grow as the number of 500 or more publications increase.



Featured image courtesy of Jason Leung.

*You can double click on the graphs to zoom out and see the full distribution of the sample.
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