The research production of nations and departments: A statistical model for the share of publications
AbstractPolicy makers and managers sometimes assess the share of research produced by a group (country, department, institution). This takes the form of the percentage of publications in a journal, field or broad area that has been published by the group. This quantity is affected by essentially random influences that obscure underlying changes over time and differences between groups. A model of research production is needed to help identify whether differences between two shares indicate underlying differences. This article introduces a simple production model for indicators that report the share of the world’s output in a journal or subject category, assuming that every new article has the same probability to be authored by a given group. With this assumption, confidence limits can be calculated for the underlying production capability (i.e., probability to publish). The results of a time series analysis of national contributions to 36 large monodisciplinary journals 1996-2016 are broadly consistent with this hypothesis. Follow up tests of countries and institutions in 26 Scopus subject categories support the conclusions but highlight the importance of ensuring consistent subject category coverage.
CitationThelwall, M. & Fairclough, R. (2017) The research production of nations and departments: A statistical model for the share of publications, Journal of Informetrics, 11 (4) pp. 1142-1157.
JournalJournal of Informetrics
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