It has been 4 months since I started my PhD study for two years. My advisor said that to get my PhD I have to publish 3 papers. Is it possible to publish 3 papers within 2 years doing research on insects?

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    It's theoretically possible to publish 3 papers in two years (or even in two weeks). But could you publish 3 papers of sufficient quality, within your narrow research topic, to meet the requirements of a PhD in two years? We don't know. Asking your advisor would be a good start.
    – user24098
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:18
  • It is possible, at my university there is a legal option on this aspect-you can graduate early. However, I don't know anyone who finished PhD is less than normal time, my peers publish 2 papers per year since the first year at PhD(they have worked also at master within the research topic, so they have a background of 1 year in the research direction before going to PhD).
    – Nikey Mike
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:22
  • One data point: I know of a guy who did it in 2.5 years. He was widely considered as very good as well as lucky. 2 years is really pushing it. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:42
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    Another aspect: Is it wise to rush it? Certain things take time/maturity... Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:48
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    "It has been 4 months since I start PhD study for two years." Huh? Do you mean (1) "I have been in my PhD program for two years and four months" or (2) "I started my PhD study 4 months ago. My PhD program has a length of 2 years"? If you mean the second one, I would say the problem is the unreasonable expectation for anyone to do a PhD in 2 years. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


The question in its present form currently does not say what your field is. The 'possibility' of publishing X many papers in a given timeframe depends very much on what field you are in. (Even the definition of what a 'paper' entails can vary depending on the field.)

I can't answer your question directly based on the information you currently provide, but I can suggest this: Go online and look up some people in your field. Most academics publish a list of their publications and their CV. You can find out when they did their PhD, and see what they published during those years. You will shortly see some trends.

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