The Value of Research Activities “Other Than” Publishing Articles: Reflections on an Experimental Workshop Series

Yasmine Chahed, Robert Charnock, Sabina Du Rietz Dahlström, Niels Joseph Lennon, Tommaso Palermo, Cristiana Parisi, Dane Pflueger, Andreas Sundström, Dorothy Toh, Lichen Yu*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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The purpose of this essay is to explore the opportunities and challenges that early-career researchers (ECRs) face when they seek to contribute to academic knowledge production through research activities “other than” those directly focused on making progress with their own, to-be-published, research papers in a context associated with the “publish or perish” (PoP) mentality.

Drawing broadly on the notion of technologies of humility (Jasanoff, 2003), this reflective essay develops upon the experiences of the authors in organizing and participating in a series of nine workshops undertaken between June 2013 and April 2021, as well as the arduous process of writing this paper itself. Retrospective accounts, workshop materials, email exchanges and surveys of workshop participants provide the key data sources for the analysis presented in the paper.

The paper shows how the organization of the workshops is intertwined with the building of a small community of ECRs and exploration of how to address the perceived limitations of a “gap-spotting” approach to developing research ideas and questions. The analysis foregrounds how the workshops provide a seemingly valuable research experience that is not without contradictions. Workshop participation reveals tensions between engagement in activities “other than” working on papers for publication and institutionalized pressures to produce publication outputs, between the (weak) perceived status of ECRs in the field and the aspiration to make a scholarly contribution, and between the desire to develop a personally satisfying intellectual journey and the pressure to respond to requirements that allow access to a wider community of scholars.

Our analysis contributes to debates about the ways in which seemingly valuable outputs are produced in academia despite a pervasive “publish or perish” mentality. The analysis also shows how reflexive writing can help to better understand the opportunities and challenges of pursuing activities that might be considered “unproductive” because they are not directly related to to-be-published papers.
TidsskriftAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - 22 mar. 2024

Bibliografisk note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 22 March 2024.


  • Interpretive accounting research
  • Technologies of humility
  • Early-career researchers
  • Problematization
  • Gap-spotting
  • Reflexivity