What is it about?

How many higher education researchers are there in the world? How many academic articles are published by researchers each year? This paper aims to answer these two questions by tracking the number of higher education teachers and the number of publications over the past four decades.

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Why is it important?

The objective of this paper is to gain a better understanding on the rise of ‘higher education researchers’, ‘academic publications’, and ‘peer-reviews.’ Understanding the evolving landscape of academic research can shed light on the rate at which academic publications will grow, and issues in publishing, such as predatory publishing, retractions due to academic dishonesty, fake peer reviews, etc., may arise.


Through this study, we understand a bit more about the past, present and future of academic research and the consequences of increase in higher education researchers and academic publications. Yet, many more questions such as co-authorship or gift-authorship, fake peer reviews, quality of peer reviews, the relationship between research fronts and retractions, etc. remain to be answered. Ah, the number of publications in predatory journals has yet to be estimated...

Professor W.M. To
Macao Polytechnic University

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This page is a summary of: Rise in higher education researchers and academic publications, Emerald Open Research, January 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.35241/emeraldopenres.13437.1.
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