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Not All Scientists pay to be Scientists:

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  • Henry Sauermann
  • Michael Roach
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    Abstract

    A growing body of research on firms’ “open science” strategies rests on the notion that scientists have a strong preference for publishing and that firms are able to extract a wage discount if they allow scientists to publish. Drawing on a survey of 1,400 life scientists about to enter the job market, we suggest an alternative view. First, we show significant heterogeneity in the price scientists assign to the opportunity to publish in firms, and those scientists who seek industry careers have particularly low preferences for publishing. Thus, many job applicants are not willing to accept lower wages for jobs that let them publish and firms pursuing open science strategies may instead have to pay publishing incentives that fulfill both sorting and incentive functions. Second, we show that scientists with higher ability have a higher price of publishing but also expect to be paid higher wages regardless of the publishing regime. Thus, they are not cheaper to hire than other scientists if allowed to publish, but they are more expensive if publishing is restricted. Finally, we show that scientists publish not simply for “peer recognition” but also for more specific reasons, including the opportunity to advance science or to move to higher-paying jobs. Different reasons predict what price a scientist assigns to the opportunity to publish and may also have very different implications for the sustainability of competitive advantages derived from open science strategies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 11-03.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:11-03

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    Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

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    Keywords: Scientists; publishing; competitive advantage;

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