More patents linked to greater chance of leaving academia.
Scientists who patent their discoveries seem more likely to leave academia than those who do not, says a study published on 5 December (B. Balsmeier and M. Pellens Econ. Lett. http://doi.org/qhv; 2013). The authors examined data for 1996–2005 from a survey of 263 academic researchers in Belgium created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and compared responses about career paths with publication and patent records. They found that for each additional patent, up to a total of two, the scientist was approximately a third more likely to leave academia. The authors speculate that patenting reflects an interest in commercializing results, which is better rewarded outside academia.