Influencing scientists' collaboration and productivity patterns through new institutions: University research centers and scientific and technical human capital
This paper analyzes the effect of university research centers on the productivity and collaboration patterns of university faculty. University research centers are an important subject for policy analysis insofar that they have become the predominant policy response to scientific and technical demands that have not been met by extant institutions, including academic departments, private firms, and government laboratories. Specifically, these centers aim to organize researchers from across the disciplines and sectors which, collectively as a research unit, possess the scientific and technical capacity relevant to scientific and technical goals of the sponsoring agencies. In this paper, we measure the productivity and collaboration patterns of university researchers affiliated with a relatively large-scale and "mature" university research center to discern the effects, if any, of the center mechanism on individual scientists and engineers. Based on an analysis of longitudinal bibliometric data, the results from this case study demonstrate affiliation with the center to be effective at enhancing overall productivity as well as at facilitating cross-discipline, cross-sector, and inter-institutional productivity and collaborations.
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