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Predicting research excellence at the individual level: The importance of publication rate, top journal publications, and top 10% publications in the case of early career mathematicians

Jonas Lindahl

Journal of Informetrics, 2018, vol. 12, issue 2, 518-533

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between publication rate, top journal publications and excellence during the first eight years of the career, and how well publication rate, top journal publications and highly cited publications during the first four years of the career can predict whether an author attain excellence in the fifth to the eighth year. The dataset consisted of publication track records of 406 early career mathematicians in the sub-field of number theory collected from the MathSciNet database. Logistic regression and dominance analysis was applied to the data. The major conclusions were (1) publication rate had a positive effect on excellence during the first eighth years of the career. However, those who publish many articles in top journals, which implicitly require a high publication count, had an even higher probability of attaining excellence. These results suggest that publishing in top journals is very important in the process of attaining excellence in the early career in addition to publishing many papers; and (2) a dominance analysis indicated that the number of top journal publications and highly cited publications during the first four years of the career were the most important predictors of who will attain excellence in the later career. The results are discussed in relation to indicator development and science policy.

Keywords: Excellence; Productivity; Early career; Dominance analysis; Mathematics; Highly cited; Bibliometric indicator; Journal prestige (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:12:y:2018:i:2:p:518-533