8.3 Writing tributes, laudations or eulogies

Publish or Perish users are also using the program when writing tributes, laudations or eulogies. Although these two tasks will generate diametrically opposite emotions, in both cases it is equally important to get a complete overview of someone's impact on the field. It is all too easy to be heavily influenced by a number of contributions that are well-known to you personally, whilst forgetting the broader impact that the academic in question might have had.

Sumantra Ghoshal

As an example of how to use Publish or Perish in writing obituaries (or review works outlining the impact of a scholars work) I will focus on Sumantra Ghoshal. His Managing Across Borders book with Christopher Bartlett, first published in 1989, was the inspiration for my own PhD work on control mechanisms in multinational companies and I was very shocked to learn of his untimely death at only 55 in 2004.

The screenshot above clearly shows that Sumantra Ghoshal's work has had an enormous impact on the field, with more than 20 of his publications generating more than 250 citations and five of them generating more than 1,000 citations. In total, his work generated more than 25,000 citations, even though less than 20 years had passed between his first publication and his untimely death. However, there are several other conclusions we can derive from the Publish or Perish data.