Is science driven by principal investigators?

Por • 16 abr, 2018 • Sección: Ciencia y tecnología

Andrej Kastrin, Jelena Klisara, Borut Lužar, Janez Povh

Abstract: In this paper we consider the question what is the scientific and career performance of principal investigators (PIs) of publicly funded research projects compared to scientific performance of all researchers. Our study is based on high quality data about (i) research projects awarded in Slovenia in the period 1994–2016 (7508 projects with 2725 PIs in total) and (ii) about scientific productivity of all researchers in Slovenia that were active in the period 1970-2016 – there are 19598 such researchers in total, including the PIs. We compare average productivity, collaboration, internationality and interdisciplinarity of PIs and of all active researchers. Our analysis shows that for all four indicators the average performance of PIs is much higher compared to average performance of all active researchers. Additionally, we analyze careers of both groups of researchers. The results show that the PIs have on average longer and more fruitful career compared to all active researchers, with regards to all career indicators. On long run, the PIs leading the research programs (the most prestigious grants) on average demonstrate the best scientific performance. In the last part of the paper we study 23 co-authorship networks, spanned by all active researchers in the periods 1970-1994, …, 1970-2016. We find out that they are well connected and that PIs are well distributed across these networks forming their backbones. We believe that our study shed new light to the relations between the public funding of the science and the scientific output.

arXiv:1804.01062v1 [cs.DL]

Digital Libraries (cs.DL); Social and Information Networks (cs.SI); Physics and Society (physics.soc-ph)

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