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Contribution of postdoctoral fellows to fast-moving and competitive scientific research

Masatsura Igami (), Sadao Nagaoka and John Walsh

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2015, vol. 40, issue 4, 723-741

Abstract: This study explores the prevalence of postdoctoral fellows in fast-moving and competitive scientific research. We use the results of a new and original large-scale survey of scientists in Japan and the United States for the analyses. Descriptive statistics show that, in both Japan and the United States: (1) the mean citation time lag was shorter by about 2 years in the highly cited papers (top 1 %) compared to other normal papers; and (2) the perceived degree of competitive threat was also higher for the projects producing the highly cited papers compared to those for normal papers. We also found that the likelihood of participation of postdoctoral fellows is significantly higher in research with shorter mean time lag and higher competitive threat (while that of students is not), controlling for author size, suggesting that postdoctoral fellows are especially prevalent in research efforts in fast-moving and competitive scientific research. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Keywords: Science; Priority; Competition; Postdoctoral fellows; O30; D23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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The Journal of Technology Transfer is currently edited by Albert N. Link, Donald S. Siegel, Barry Bozeman and Simon Mosey

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