The Productive Researcher* by Mark S. Reed (Newcastle University, Fast Track Impact) is a book that aims not only to make researchers more productive, but also to "enable [them] to be happy working less, and being more." (p. 168). The book is based on the author's personal (and sometimes very personal) experiences, interviews with some of the most productive researchers in the world, and literature on psychology, organizational management, ecology, and international development. The first part of the book contains a series of principles (e. g., on motivation, retelling your story, prioritizing, find goals that inspire you) which are relevant both to early career researchers and to more experienced researchers.  The second part of the book contains practical ideas (mainly for more experienced researchers) about how to become significantly more productive (e.g., work planning, say "yes" to say "no", writing, do less to do more, how to spend less time on emails, meetings, and online). 

The book was inspiring (even if in few places I slightly disagreed with the author) and I will try to implement some of his ideas and strategies in my research activities and develop goals that are Stretching, Motivational,  Authentic, Relational, and Tailored (i. e., the new SMART proposed by the author). Furthermore, the book is beautifully done, I really like the cover and the design. 

Decision: Recommended. 


*) See also this video Work less to achieve more - lessons from the world's most productive researchers.




AuthorBogdan Antonescu
CategoriesBook Review