How hard do US, Chinese and German academics work?

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:

graph-660x503

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.

51 thoughts on “How hard do US, Chinese and German academics work?

  1. It’s a fact those self motivated people when engrossed in certain topics or task, days of week, timezone nothing matters. When link is on time is not important till the brain retires and say stop.

  2. Are you sure that’s not EST in the graph? Average time when downloads start of 11 EST means we’re basically all getting started at 930.

  3. Yes, the U.S. peak is later in the day than Germany or China, but compare 2:00-7:00am. I guess this demonstrates what a lot of us probably already knew: U.S. scholars don’t necessarily work on the 9-5 (or 9-7, or 9-10).

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