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Abstract  

A major difficulty with bibliometric measures of departmental research contributions based upon publications counts has concerned the summing of publications of different types. An attempt is made in this paper to bypass this aggregation problem by appeal to the methods of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). In this way we investigate the technical efficiency of UK university departments of economics as producers of research. The data set used is an extended version of the one which informed the recent Universities Funding Council peer review, and the results obtained here are compared with those obtained by the Council. We conclude that, although due caution is needed in the interpretation of results, DEA has a positive contribution to make in the development of meaningful indicators of university performance.

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We present a new bibliometric approach to identify research groups in a particular research field. With a combination of bibliometric mapping techniques and network analysis we identify and classify clusters of authors to represent research groups. In this paper we illustrate the application and potential of this approach and present two types of outcomes: actual research groups and potential research groups. The former enables us to define research groups beyond the organizational structure. The latter may be used to identify potential partners for collaboration. Our approach is a starting point to deal with the complex issue of research groups in a changing structure of scientific research.

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A literature review uncovered six distinctive indicators of failed information epidemics in the scientific journal literature: (1) presence of seminal papers(s), (2) rapid growth/decline in author frequency, (3) multi-disciplinary research, (4) epidemic growth/decline in journal publication frequency, (5) predominance of rapid communication journal publications, and (6) increased multi-authorship. These indicators were applied to journal publication data from two known failed information epidemics, Polywater and Cold Nuclear Fusion. Indicators 1-4 were distinctive of the failed epidemics, Indicator 6 was not, and Indicator 5 might be. Further bibliometric study of these five indicators in the context of other epidemic literatures needed.

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This paper analyzes the early research performance of PhD graduates in labor economics, addressing the following questions: Are there major productivity differences between graduates from American and European institutions? If so, how relevant is the quality of the training received (i.e. ranking of institution and supervisor) and the research environment in the subsequent job placement institution? The population under study consists of labor economics PhD graduates who received their degree in the years 2000–2005 in Europe or the USA. Research productivity is evaluated alternatively as the number of publications or the quality-adjusted number of publications of an individual. When restricting the analysis to the number of publications, results suggest a higher productivity by graduates from European universities than from USA universities, but this difference vanishes when accounting for the quality of the publication. The results also indicate that graduates placed at American institutions, in particular top ones, are likely to publish more quality-adjusted articles than their European counterparts. This may be because, when hired, they already have several good acceptances or because of more focused research efforts and clearer career incentives.

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This paper studies the production of dissertations in eight research fields in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. In using doctoral dissertations it builds on De Solla Prices seminal study which used PhD dissertations as one of several indicators of scientific growth (Price, Little science, big science, ). Data from the ProQuest: Dissertations and Theses database covering the years 1950–2007 are used to depict historical trends, and the Gompertz function was used for analysing the data. A decline in the growth of dissertations can be seen in all fields in the mid-eighties and several fields show only a modest growth during the entire period. The growth profiles of specific disciplines could not be explained by traditional dichotomies such as pure/applied or soft/hard, but rather it seems that the age of the discipline appears to be an important factor. Thus, it is obvious that the growth of dissertations must be explained using several factors emerging both inside and outside academia. Consequently, we propose that the output of dissertations can be used as an indicator of growth, especially in fields like the humanities, where journal or article counts are less applicable.

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This paper provides the profiling on the ‘relative absorptive capacity of knowledge’ research to provide insights of the field based on data collected from the ISI Web of science database during the years 2001–2010. The analysis is established in three phases, namely, the general publication, the subject area, and the topic profiling. The study obtains patterns, characteristics, and attributes at country, institutions, journals, author, and core reference levels. It shows the increase of the research activity in the field, based on the publication productivity during the years mentioned. Most of these publications are classified in the subject areas of business and economics, engineering, and operations research and management science. We highlight the nascent interest of the computer science subject area as a way to operationalize the different studies conducted. We found a lack of contribution from African and Latin–American countries despite the importance of the field for them. Our results are useful in terms of science strategy, science and technology policy, research agendas, research alliances, and research networks according to the special interest of specific actors at the individual, institutional, and national levels.

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Large-scale scientific projects have become a major impetus of scientific advances. But few studies have specifically analyzed how those projects bolster scientific research. We address this question from a scientometrics perspective. By analyzing the bibliographic records of papers relevant to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we found that the SDSS helped scientists from many countries further develop their own research; investigators initially formed large research groups to tackle key problems, while later papers involved fewer authors; and the number of research topics increased but the diversity of topics remains stable. Furthermore, the entropy analysis method has proven valuable in terms of analyzing patterns of research topics at a macroscopic level.

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The paper has the general aim of assessing the worldwide research activity in agricultural and food science and technology as it is reflected by the mainstream journal literature. The specific research questions were as follows: (1) What is the position of the European Research Area (ERA) represented by 33 countries in this study, on the world map of agrifood science publications? (2) Which countries are influential and what is their position? (3) Are there any specific European strengths and weaknesses by subfields of agrifood science? Overall, assessed by the total number of publications, the European Research Area (ERA), represented by 33 countries in this study, is in a dominant position on the world map of agrifood science. However, agrifood publications from the United States are more influential (judged by the average citation rates per paper). Correlation has been found between economic power and agrifood science publications: this is true not only for the total number of papers, but also for influence (measured by, again, the citation rates). Within Europe, the UK, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands dominate the agrifood research fields also in terms of citations. The Scandinavian countries, the Benelux states and Switzerland manage to produce influential papers across several fields of agrifood science. The EU's New Member States—a populous area—together have less than 10% share in Europe's agrifood publications and in citations they account for a 3–4% portion only. It seems that deepening of the integration of the national research systems in the European Research Area is desirable to have more impact of European agrifood research viewed from a global perspective.

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Here we show a longitudinal analysis of the overall prestige of first quartile journals during the period between 1999 and 2009, on the subject areas of Scopus. This longitudinal study allows us to analyse developmental trends over times in different subject areas with distinct citation and publication patterns. To this aim, we first introduce an axiomatic index of the overall prestige of journals with ranking score above a given threshold. Here we demonstrate that, between 1999 and 2009, there was high and increasing overall prestige of first quartile journals in only four areas of Scopus. Also, there was high and decreasing overall prestige of first quartile journals in five areas. Two subject areas showed high and oscillating overall prestige of first quartile journals. And there was low and increasing overall prestige in four areas, since the 1999.

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As part of a research program to analyse research in Bangladesh we provide a comparison between research indicators related to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In this investigation we make use of Web of Science (WoS) data as well as Scopus data (using the SCImago website). Special attention is given to collaboration data and to the evolution of country h-indices. A comparison based on relative quality indicators shows that Sri Lanka is the best performer among these four countries. Such a result agrees with the ranking of these countries according to the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI).

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