Scholar Studies Scholars to Uncover Productivity Secrets, Reveals Findings in New Graduate Course

Scholar Studies Scholars to Uncover Productivity Secrets, Reveals Findings in New Graduate Course

29 Nov 2022    

Imagine publishing 18 journal articles, three books, and two edited books. Pretty good career…but this was Michael Pressley’s one-year production record! Oh, in the same year, he was also editor-in-chief for two journals, served on the editorial board for nine other journals, garnered two major awards, and was department chair. Oh my! 

How did Pressley do it? How has Richard Mayer authored more than 600 publications, including 40 books? How has Carol Dweck become a leading theorist on motivation and mindset? What led to Zeus Leonardo receiving a National Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award and to several emerging scholars winning National Early Career Awards?

UNL educational psychologist Dr. Kenneth Kiewra has conducted about two dozen qualitative interviews since 2000 to find out how leading scholars worldwide are so productive. His findings have been published in several journal articles and will appear in a forthcoming book for Cambridge University Press titled The Productive Scholar: How the Experts Do It.

In the Spring 2023 semester, Professor Kiewra will offer a first-time, three-credit course on this topic: EDPS 991, Section 5, “How to Be a More Productive Scholar,” on Tuesday evenings on City Campus. The course is geared toward graduate students and junior faculty in any discipline looking to jumpstart their academic careers.

More than 100 secrets to scholarly success will be richly revealed such as: Follow your bliss; conduct pioneering science; create centers of excellence; be a systematizer, extender, straddler, and me-searcher; work on multiple projects; design feasible studies; preserve morning hours for scholarly activities; enculturate students; frame your writing; write for your friends; don’t let your writing get cold; park on a hill at day’s end; embrace feedback; navigate the review process to your advantage; serve the field; and take heed of the universe conspiring to help you, to name a few.

Professor Kiewra is no stranger to scholarly productivity having recently been recognized among the Top 2% of The Most Cited Researchers Worldwide. He was also the 2021 recipient of the University of Nebraska System’s Outstanding Teaching and Creativity Award.

He can be contacted at

College of Education and Human Sciences