In a recent study, a team of scientists in China examined the time of day when paper downloads occur from a scientific publisher’s website. Controlling for the time zone where the request originated, they were able to see how hard scientists work overall by examining the downloads for a period of a little over a week. But even more than that, they explored the patterns in their work habits, as well differences between scientists in different countries.
The upshot is that scientists work late at night and on weekends. We have a clear difficulty distinguishing different parts of our lives. But it’s more interesting than that. Chinese and American scientists have somewhat different patterns of workaholism. American scientists work late at night, but still recognize that weekend as a time of rest (at least a little). Chinese scientists, on the other hand, don’t work late at night, but work almost as hard on the weekends as on the weekdays. And Germany is somewhere in between:
Not wholly compelling, but cute. I am slightly less impressed with our workload when I notice that downloads do not begin until 11am in the US…
Source. Hat tip to Suresh Naidu.