Publication Goals: How much to publish

I’m a big believer in setting specific goals to help accomplish objectives.  The literature is pretty consistent: setting measurable goals helps us finish what we start.

There’s no set rule for appropriate publication goals for academics.  Most research universities expect tenure-track junior faculty to average about two or three peer-reviewed articles a year.  Of course, there’s lots of wiggle room.  First-authored pubs count more than others.  Top-tiered journals count more than the Journal of Some Guy’s Basement.

I’ve set my goal as three peer-reviewed articles yearly.  Since I’m not working for a University, I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to publish as much as I like.  In truth, I’m pretty happy to publish in the Journal of Some Other Guy’s Basement.  I just want to make sure that I do have a publication record in case I want to go into academia some day.

What is your publication goal? How did you set it, and have you achieved what you sought?