Many factors affect how productive a research team is, from organisational factors such as the level of internal support to deal with potentially distracting bureaucracy, to external factors such as the flexibility of your grant,to personal factors such as your commitment and drive. But what about the environmental factors that wrap around a research group and shape its effort and response? This is something you ignore at your peril, but the good news is that a lot of these factors are within your control.
In 1992, Bland & Ruffin summarised the literature on the factors associated with research productivity and identified twelve that were consistent across definitions of ‘productivity’ and time. Subsequent studies have not challenged these factors to any great extent, so let’s look at each in turn.