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"Academic Productivity – What is it? What Causes it? How is it Achieved? Presentation to doctoral symposium, Syracuse University April 26, 2006 Barry Bozeman.

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Presentation on theme: ""Academic Productivity – What is it? What Causes it? How is it Achieved? Presentation to doctoral symposium, Syracuse University April 26, 2006 Barry Bozeman."— Presentation transcript:

1 "Academic Productivity – What is it? What Causes it? How is it Achieved? Presentation to doctoral symposium, Syracuse University April 26, 2006 Barry Bozeman Regents Professor of Public Policy Georgia Tech After August 1: Crenshaw Professor of Public Policy University of Georgia

2 Ways of Thinking about Academic Productivity Output: Publications and ‘knowledge outputs’ (e.g. patents, technical assistance) Impact: Impacts of knowledge outputs (Scholarly and practitioner) RVM Approach: “Scientific and Technical Human Capital” (career trajectories and field changes)

3 What is “Scientific and Technical Human Capital” (S&THC)? S&THC is the amalgamation of: 1. The individual’s endowments and abilities- – Formal training – Craft knowledge and tacit knowledge – Cognitive skills – Intelligence – Creativity – (i.e. capacity to produce knowledge) Source: B. Bozeman, J. Dietz and M. Gaughan (2001) “Scientific and technical human capital,” International Journal of Technology Management, 22, 7/8, 2001, 716-740

4 What is “Scientific and Technical Human Capital” (S&THC)? And…, 2. Social ties and network linkages  Formal social linkages (e.g. professional Association relations)  Informal linkages (e.g. acquaintances, professional friends) – (i.e. capacity to disseminate and utilize knowledge)

5 Scientific and Technical Human Capital Mapping: The Life Cycle Cognitive Skills Knowledge Craft Skills Research Project Cognitive Skills Knowledge Craft Skills Team Member (t - 1) Cognitive Skills Knowledge Craft Skills Team Member (t + 1) Team Member (t) Legend Weak Tie Strong Tie Barry Bozeman, 1999

6 Conventional academic productivity models Focus on publications, quantity and sometimes quality Use citation analysis and bibliometric approaches (impact studies) Sometimes focus on life cycle Most studies focused on production of refereed articles Typical independent variables: gender, age and tenure, field, collaboration patterns, education

7 Technical issues Normal or fractional count? Author order effects Negative citations and literature reviews, self-citations Citations in books Name distinctiveness Field/Discipline citation propensities

8 Review of Academic Productivity Studies StudyDependent Variables Disciplines and Fields Results Wanner, et al. (1981) Article and Book Counts (Department) Social sciences, physical sciences Physical sciences publish more and have very different norms, not comparable with social sciences Clemente (1973) Article counts (Individual) Physical sciences Best predictors: age at first publication; having published before Ph.D. Keith and Babchuk Department Rankings SociologyPast reputation much more important that current productivity Pfeffer and Langdon (1993) Article counts (Department) Social sciences, physical sciences The higher the wage dispersion in department, the lower the productivity

9 Review of Academic Productivity Studies (continued) StudyDependent Variables Disciplines and Fields Results Fox (1989)Individual publication counts SociologyHigh rejection rates function of disciplinary fragmentation (Kuhn) Lee and Bozeman (2005) Individual publication counts Physical sciences and engineering Collaboration positive for “normal count,” neutral for “fractional count”; women have fewer collaborators Varian (1998) Individual publication counts Physical sciences and engineering Women publish 50-80% as as many articles as men, on average (gap narrowing; no difference in economics) Armstrong (1983) Individual publication counts Physical and social sciences Best predictor: quality of undergraduate degree (doctoral degree secondary)

10 Review of Academic Productivity Studies (continued) StudyDependent Variables Disciplines and Fields Results Feldt, 1986Grants and publications Physical sciences Women receive fewer grants (publish less) Gaughan and Bozeman, 2002 Grants and publications Physical sciences Women receive about same number of grants, lower amounts, until 5 th grant (bi- polar distribution Xie and Aiken Article publications Physical sciences Women produce less because more likely junior faculty (hired more recently) Dietz (2004)Article publications Physical sciences Research Center affiliates more productive

11 Submitting to Journals

12 First- what are you hoping to achieve? Intellectual impact, force of ideas Career enhancement  Acquire or improve job  Develop reputation  Move to a new or different field  Tenure trajectory  Develop network ties Impact on practitioners or policy

13 What are the mechanics of submission? Read the journal requirements. Don’t worry initially about formatting. Don’t write a long letter (or email).  e.g. “Dear Dr. Schmidlap, I would like to submit the enclosed paper, entitled “A Preliminary Analysis of Libertarian Voting Patterns in Butts County, Georgia, 1975-1976,” for possible publication in the Journal of Rural Voting Behavior. Thank you for considering my submission. Prepare to wait. Prepare (at best) to get harsh criticism and an R&R. This is a GOOD letter:  e.g. Dear Ms. Student, I am afraid the referees have concluded that your paper is not in its present form suitable for publication in JRVB. However, we will see a revised version. I cannot promise you a revised version will result in publication.

14 What are the mechanics of publication? If you receive an R&R the odds are about 85% that your paper will be published (somewhat less at the most competitive journals). You may have to revise more than once. When you revise, pay attention first to the editor, then the referees. But also don’t relent on points that will make the paper worse. After submission it will take from two months to two years for publication. You will usually get a chance to copy edit the final proof. You will usually get 50 or so free reprints to distribute (policies vary on electronic copies to distribute). You will either co-own or not own the rights to the reproduction of your article.

15 Norms you may not know about You cannot submit a paper to more than one journal at the same time. When your paper is rejected, it is a good idea to revise before sending out again (you may get the same referees). Acknowledge anyone who has helped you in any way. Generosity costs you nothing. Some journals permit you (or even prefer) that you nominate a few reviewers for your submission. Review is generally, but not always, “double blind.”

16 Different Career Stages Need Different Strategies Graduate student Ph.D. non-academic Ph.D. with no tenure-track job Ph.D. beginning a tenure track job Junior faculty with tenure coming up soon Senior faculty, moderate productivity Senior faculty, academic star or star aspirant

17 If you are a student… All publications are good publications. A publication in a journal shows activity and distances you from most students. Regardless of journal, the work signals your career interests Conference presentations and book reviews “count” (but they won’t later)

18 If you are not a student, remember the following sober facts: 1. The median number of citations for a paper published in a social science academic journal is zero. 2. Some journals, including ones you may have heard of, give you a miniscule chance of ever having your article cited. 3. Why worry about citations?

19 Total Citations in 2002: Selected Journals JournalCitations Amer. J. Political Sci.5060 Adm Sci. Q.4713 Hum Rel.1909 Res Policy1646 Pub Adm Rev922 Scientometrics769 Ev. Prog. Planning468 J. Policy Analysis Mgt.421 Sci, Tech, Hum Values396 Int. J. Tech. Mgt.318 Pol. St. J.236 Adm&Soc173 Issues S&T145 ARPA103 J. Per. Soc. Psy.: 23,936 Soc Theory & Meth: 2

20 9 ENVIRON PLANN C 0263- 774X 2480.5100.276294.4 10 GOVERN ANCE 0952-18952411.2560.286214.8 11 INT REV ADM SCI 0020-8523700.2460.00041 12 J EUR PUBLIC POLICY 1350-17634820.8920.345555.0 13 J POLICY ANAL MANAG 0276-87395421.2400.122417.0 14 J PUBL ADM RES THEOR 1053-18582980.8720.333275.7 15 J SOC POLICY 0047-27942800.8870.150207.5 16 PHILOS PUBLIC AFF 0048-39156131.1330.42914>10.0 17 POLICY POLIT 0305-57362750.7810.036285.2 18 POLICY SCI 0032-26872950.5760.0008>10.0 19 POLICY STUD J 0190- 292X 1980.2620.000309.2 20 PUBLIC ADMIN 0033-32985291.1390.119426.7 Policy/PA Journal Impact Factors (2004) Calculation for journal impact factor (excludes self- citations). A= total cites in 1992, B= 1992 cites to articles published in 1990-91 (this is a subset of A), C= number of articles published in 1990-91D= B/C = 1992 impact factor. The impact factor is useful in clarifying the significance of absolute (or total) citation frequencies. It eliminates some of the bias of such counts which favor large journals over small ones, or frequently issued journals over less frequently issued ones, and of older journals over newer ones. Particularly in the latter case such journals have a larger citable body of literature than smaller or younger journals. All things being equal, the larger the number of previously published articles, the more often a journal will be cited.

21 Impact Factors for familiar journals Journal: High PerformersFactorJournals: Below the Mendoza Line Factor Amer. Pol. Sci. Rev.2.744Econ. Dev. Q..460 J. Pol. Econ.2.622Public Choice.401 Amer. J. Pol. Sci.1.894Public Interest.276 Amer. Econ. Rev.1.655Pol. St. J..262 Research Policy1.536Austr. J. P.A..224 JPAM1.240Int. Rev. Adm. Sci..246 Pub. Adm. (UK)1.139Adm. & Soc..232 J. Amer. Plan. Assoc..911Pub. Per. Mgt..192 JPART.887Can. Pub. Adm..156 PAR.861 Policy Sci.. 576 Pub. Adm. Dev..534 Amer. Rev. PA.513

22 Journal prestige: How important? Often much more difficult to get published in “mainstream” and disciplinary journals (rejection rates hover around 95%). Sometimes impact factors of “prestige journals” or not the highest, but prestige has its own currency (showing you can jump a high bar). Even if no more citations or readers, may enhance your status as “gatekeeper.”

23 What about less prestigious journals? Divide into three categories:  A. Someone is likely to read the journal and cite you  B. It is possible, but unlikely, that someone will read and cite you  C. Dream on.  Lesson: Take care with the “B” category (the most populated)- some have relatively high rejection rates, require many changes, but don’t have much impact.

24 What about “invitations to submit?” and special issues Distinguish among “casting calls,” editor desperation and actual opportunity.  Are the invitations directed to you specifically?  Do you have some obvious substantive or expertise advantage?  Are invitations focused on a particular paper of yours?  Does the person inviting you know you personally?

25 Scenario: you are seeking academic impact, but you are currently an “unknown” Regardless of journal publication, consider working with someone who is NOT an unknown (Matthew Effects be damned). Regardless of journal quality, begin thinking about journal clusters. Do not spread your intellectual seed to thin. Regardless of journal quality, work to disseminate your publications

26 Scenario: you are seeking academic impact, but you are currently an “unknown” (continued) Know the impact factor of your journal set. Regardless of the impact factor, know the substantive focus of your journal. Don’t put a good paper in a good journal that does not deal with your topic. Understand the probabilities of publication. Think about tiers (didn’t make the first tier journal, what is the next one?) Get pre-submission criticism. If very positive, do not undervalue your paper.

27 Honing in… OK, now that you have identified the content area and the prestige level (impact factor) of the target journals, what are some other cues you may wish to consider in finalizing your decision?  Who is the editor? What is the editor’s role?  Who is on the editorial board?  Who has been publishing in the journal (they will be your reviewers!)  What is the characteristic set of methods used in published papers?  Length?  Can you determine if there is a backlog?

28 The journal as “sign” The journals you publish in will shape your professional identify. For example, Organization Studies, Organizational Dynamics, and Academy of Management Journal cover many of the same topics but in completely different ways. Journals signify different cognitive emphases: creativity, analytical ability, modeling, methods, theory, values. Which of these attributes do you wish to advertise?

29 And now- The public administration studies Questionnaire Studies Reputational Studies

30 Public Administration Review January/February 2004, Vol. 64, No. 1 Surveyed the top 89 public administration scholars (nominated by leaders of five organizations) and asked them to rank characteristics related to their success.

31 Factors Ranked High (Top 15) 15: Winning awardsM (Bozeman Rank) 14: Jointly-authored articlesH 13: Leadership in organizationsM 12: Faculty mentors in Ph.D. program L 11: Grants and research supportH 10: Seizing research opportunitiesH 9: Jointly-authored booksH 8: Quality (not rank) of Ph.D. programM 7: Cutting Edge Research TopicsM 6: Presenting scholarly papersL 5: Single-authored articlesH 4: Journal editorH 3: Timing/luckM 2: Single-authored booksH 1: Hard WorkM Adapted from Schroeder, et al., 2004 H: High Importance; M: Medium; L: Low

32 Public Administration Review, 1981 Compared reputation ratings of programs vs. numbers of publications in top 20 journals (did NOT take department size into account)


34 Another Measure: The productivity of research Graduates (Adams, Public Administration Review, 1996)

35 Faculty Productivity (not per capita) (Adams, Public Administration Review, 1996)

36 Individual Productivity: Guidelines that have worked for me Do not spend much time scheming or griping- work hard and do research you enjoy Carefully evaluate collaborators and collaboration opportunities Don’t be exploited by lazy or mediocre colleagues Understand the transactions costs of doctoral student mentoring (and do it because it is important, not because it is productive) Set for yourself reasonable, measurable goals each year

37 More productivity ideas: Avoid meetings unless they are vital or research related or fun Cultivate solitude (the ability to be at your work desk) Don’t waste time with zero impact journals Track your citations and know how to interpret them If you are not surrounded by a “productivity culture,” either make your own (networks) or get a new job Determine if you enjoy research (“sacred spark”) and, if you do not, invest in other productive activities (e.g. quality teaching)

38 Last… Don’t spend too much time in seminars listening to other’s ideas! (But thanks for coming). More info:

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