nsf.gov - NCSES U.S. Academic Scientific Publishing - US National Science Foundation (NSF)
text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text
Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
U.S. Academic Scientific Publishing

2.0 Overview of Report Structure



 

This section provides an overview of the report structure.

The remaining sections of this report, their contents and interrelationships, are described below:

3.0 Introduction: Study Background, Historical Trends in Article Production, Methods for Counting Publications and Citations, and Attributing Counts to Institutions and Fields – presents a brief discussion of the importance and limitations of publication data as a measure of scientific research, and the concern over an apparent change in the growth trend of publications that occurred in the early 1990s.  To better quantify and understand possible reasons for this change, this study examines how trends vary in various academic fields and how institutional characteristics may influence article production. The section explains that analyses were conducted using data on the top 200 U.S. academic institutions with the largest R&D expenditures from 1988 to 2001. A listing of those institutions can be found in appendix A. The section contains background information on different methods for counting and attributing publications and citations, and mapping those counts to fields.
4.0 Research Approach: Scope, Data Sources, and Analysis Methods – provides an overview of the scope of work, a brief description of the types of variables that were included in the database, and a general description of analysis methods. Appendices provide important supplemental information to this section. Appendix B contains a more detailed description of the study's methodology. Appendix C contains detailed information about the variables in the database.
5.0 Trends in Publications, Citations, and Resources – provides graphical displays of trends in publications, citations, and resources of the top 200 R&D performing academic institutions, displayed at both the institution and field levels.
6.0 Variable Transformations: Inflation Adjustment and Lagging – describes transformations of variables used in the regression analyses, including deflation to constant dollars and lagging (to account for the time between funds receipt, conduct of research, publication of research finding, and citations to those publications).
7.0 Decomposition of Variability: Between and Within Institution Components – discusses the finding that almost all of the variability in publication and citation counts and in resources used for research occurs between institutions rather than across years within institutions.
8.0 Key Factors Associated with Institution-Level Publication Counts – presents models developed for fractional and whole publication counts in the expanding journal set at the institution-year level. From among the many variables considered for these models, three independent variables were retained: total academic R&D expenditures, postdoctoral researchers, and Ph.D. recipients. In addition to the regression model coefficients, the relationships of these independent variables to publication counts are presented graphically. A path analytic model is also developed to fit the total effects on publications of varying academic R&D expenditures. The analyses in this section are restricted to publication counts in an expanding data set. Appendix D contains a parallel analysis for citation counts. Appendix F contains a parallel analysis for the relative citation index (i.e., the number of citations per publication) and appendix G for fractional and whole publication counts in the fixed journal set.
9.0 Adequacy of Model Fit: Time Trends in Resource Utilization Per Publication Count and Model Fit by Institutional Characteristics – examines whether the adequacy of the model fit varies as a function of time or institutional characteristics (i.e., Carnegie classification, public/private control, patenting activity, amount of collaboration in publications, and NRC quality ratings). Although no institutional characteristic was found to affect the fit, there was a clear linear trend in the ratio of expected to observed publication counts, indicating that for a given amount of resources the number of fractional and whole publication counts produced diminished steadily over time.
10.0 Observed and Expected Publication Trends Within Institutions – presents a refinement to the models of section 8.0 (which primarily modeled the association of average resources in the period from 1988 to 2001 to differences in publication counts between institutions) to allow examination of the effect of changes in resources on changes in publication counts within institutions. Differences in average resources available to two different institutions (e.g., one institution with academic R&D expenditures of $100M and another with $110M) were associated with larger differences in publications than would be expected if resources within a particular institution varied by the same amount (i.e., $10M). Within-institution effects are sensitive to the type of funding and type of S&E postdoctorates, with changes in federally financed R&D funding having a larger effect within institutions than changes in non-federally financed academic R&D expenditures.
11.0 Key Factors Associated with Publication Counts at the Field Group Level – presents models of fractional and whole count publications in the expanding journal set at the level of five field groups (i.e., biology, life and agricultural sciences; computer sciences; engineering, math, and physical sciences; medical sciences; and social sciences and psychology), paralleling the analyses in section 8.
Appendix A. U.S. Top 200 R&D Performing Academic Institutions – provides information on the top 200 R&D performing academic institutions (as determined by annual average R&D expenditures from 1988 to 2001), including the campuses and branches considered to constitute each institution.
Appendix B. Study Methodology – presents information about the conduct of the study, including critical issues that were addressed early in the study, steps in database construction, and the analysis approach.
Appendix C. Variable Descriptions and Database References – provides detailed definitions of the variables contained in the database and references to the data sources.
Appendix D. Analysis of Citation Counts – presents a model of fractional and whole count citations in the expanding journal set that parallels the analysis in section 8.
Appendix E. Crosswalk of WebCaspar and ipIQ Classifications – presents a listing of WebCaspar field definitions and corresponding ipIQ field definitions.
Appendix F. Analysis of the Relative Citation Index – presents a model of the relative citation index (i.e., the ratio of citations to publication counts in the expanding journal set) that parallels the analysis in section 8.
Appendix G. Analysis of Publication Counts in the Fixed Journal Set – presents a model of fractional and whole publication counts in the fixed journal set that parallels the analysis in section 8.
Appendix H. Regression Output for Section 9 presents the output for the regression analyses referenced in Section 9.
Appendix I. Regression Output for Section 10 – presents the outpput for the regression analyses referenced in Section 10.
Appendix J. Regression Output for Section 11 – presents the output for the regression analyses referenced in Section 11.
 
U.S. Academic Scientific Publishing
Working Paper | SRS 11-201 | November 2010