Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Published in Educational Psychology Review (2023) 35:90



Copyright © 2023 Kiewra et al., under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Used by permission.


Much is known about the factors that make some educational psychologists highly productive. Beginning nearly 25 years ago, Kiewra and colleagues began a series of six qualitative investigations to uncover the keys to scholarly success in educational psychology. The initial study (Kiewra & Creswell, 2000) investigated Richard Anderson, Richard Mayer, and Michael Pressley, who were ranked as the top scholars in a survey of educational psychologists. The second study (Patterson- Hazley & Kiewra, 2013), more than a decade later, investigated productive scholars Patricia Alexander, Richard Mayer, Dale Schunk, and Barry Zimmerman who were ranked as the top scholars in a survey of educational psychologists at that time. The third study (Flanigan et al., 2018) investigated a pre-selected cohort of productive German scholars affiliated with Ludwig Maximilian University: Frank Fischer, Hans Gruber, Heinz Mandl, and Alexander Renkl. The fourth study (Prinz et al., 2020) investigated five productive female scholars from the USA and Europe, stemming from a survey of international female scholars. They were Patricia Alexander, Carol Dweck, Jacquelynne Eccles, Mareike Kunter, and Tamara van Gog. The fifth study (Kiewra et al. 2021) investigated six recent early career award winners in educational psychology: Rebecca Collie, Logan Fiorella, Doug Lombardi, Sabina Neugebauer, Erika Patall, and Ming-Te Wang. The sixth study was a retrospective account of how educational psychologist John Glover was so productive (Kiewra & Kauffman, 2023).

This series of studies found several common and critical factors related to scholarly productivity, including centers of excellence, mentorship, collaboration, research management, time management, writing, and support. What follows is a thumbnail synopsis of previous findings.