De gelukkige wetenschapper

Translated title of the contribution: The happy scientist

Joeri K Tijdink, Anton C M Vergouwen, Yvo M Smulders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

3 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The H-index is a frequently used scale to rank scientists on their scientific output. Whether subjective feeling of happiness is influenced by the level of the H-index on scientists has never been investigated.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between the level of the H index as a measure of scientific success and feelings of unhappiness among Dutch professors.

DESIGN: Descriptive; national online questionnaire.

METHOD: All medical professors working at the Dutch university medical centres were invited to participate in an online questionnaire. Pressure to publish was measured by a questionnaire developed for this purpose and signs of burnout were measured on the Utrecht Burnout Scale. The area of emotional exhaustion on this scale was used to measure feelings of unhappiness. Every professor was asked for his or her H-index as an outcome measure.

RESULTS: A total of 437 professors completed the questionnaire. Those in the highest tertile of the H index had significantly lower scores for emotional exhaustion (p < 0.025). Younger age was correlated with an, on average, higher score for emotional exhaustion. Professors with children living at home had a 25% higher score on emotional exhaustion than those who did not (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: The H index appears to be of influence on emotional exhaustion: a lower H index is associated with higher scores on emotional exhaustion while a high H index is associated with lower scores.

Translated title of the contributionThe happy scientist
Original languageDutch
Article numberA5715
Pages (from-to)A5715
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Achievement
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Burnout, Professional/psychology
  • Data Collection
  • Emotions
  • Faculty, Medical/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Publishing/statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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