Although the number of young evolutionary biologists recruited has remained stable between 2005 and 2013, their academic profiles have significantly changed. To get hired, young biologists now need to have published twice as many articles (12.5 ± 2.4 papers in 2005 vs. 22.0 ± 3.4 in 2013) and to have had a much longer previous research career than those hired in 2005 (3.25 ± 0.6 years in 2005 vs. 8.0 ± 1.7 in 2013). Furthermore the number of papers published each year before recruitment has significantly increased independently of the career duration. However, the mean Impact Factor of the journals in which they publish has remained steady (F1,54 = 1.12, p = 0.29, 5.8 ± 0.3).
The idea that any field would require 8 post-doctoral years and 20+ publications to start an entry-level (permanent) research job is not a good thing. I am hopeful that people will try to replicate this type of research, so that we can get a handle on how out of control this selection process has become.