The relative influences of government funding and international collaboration on citation impact

by   Loet Leydesdorff, et al.

In a recent publication in Nature, Wagner & Jonkers (2017) report that public R&D funding is only weakly correlated with the citation impact of a nation's papers as measured by the field-weighted citation index (FWCI; defined by Scopus). On the basis of the supplementary data, we upscaled the design using Web-of-Science data for the decade 2003-2013 and OECD funding data for the corresponding decade assuming a two-year delay (2001-2011). Using negative binomial regression analysis, we find very small coefficients, but the effects of international collaboration are positive and statistically significant, whereas the effects of government funding are negative, an order of magnitude smaller, and statistically non-significant (in two of three analyses). In other words, international collaboration improves the impact of average research papers, whereas more government funding tends to have a small adverse effect when comparing OECD countries.


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