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You get what you ‘pay’ for: academic attention, career incentives and changes in publication portfolios of business and economics researchers

Adam Ayaita, Kerstin Pull and Uschi Backes-Gellner

Journal of Business Economics, 2019, vol. 89, issue 3, No 2, 273-290

Abstract: Abstract Since the 1990s, research on publication outputs in business and economics has almost exclusively focused on journal articles. While earlier work has shown that journal articles and other publications were indeed complements in the 70s and 80s, we find that this is no longer the case when we include the most recent decades. Apparently, the notable shift in the scientific community’s attention in the 90s on journal articles and the corresponding incentives towards publications in internationally highly ranked journals on average led researchers to focus one-sidedly on journal publications at the expense of other publication forms. To see whether the aggregate result also holds for individual researchers, we perform a cluster analysis and find four different types of individual researchers: “Journal Specialists”, “Book-Based Publishers”, a small group of “Highly Productive All-round Publishers” and a large group of what we call “Inconspicuous” researchers, with a very modest publication productivity in all forms. In addition, we find that researchers’ age matters for their publication patterns: in our sample, more experienced researchers are less productive with respect to journal articles, but more productive with respect to other publication forms. This, however, is not the result of an individual career effect. Rather, it can be attributed to a cohort effect: among today’s active researchers, the younger cohorts are more productive in journal articles than the older ones. Our explanation is as follows: the younger cohorts were still in their socialization and hiring phase and were more strongly affected by the newly introduced incentives towards international journal publications—and have thus reacted more strongly to the “regime change” resulting from the scientific community’s one-sided attention to publications in internationally highly ranked journals.

Keywords: Research productivity; Publication forms; Journal articles (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A14 I23 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11573-017-0880-6

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