Professional networks, scientific collaboration, and publication productivity in resource-constrained research institutions in a developing country
We test the hypothesis that scientific collaboration is associated with increased publication productivity. We differentiate our approach from other studies by (a) incorporating professional networks in the productivity model, (b) casting productivity and collaboration as distinct phenomena, and (c) examining these phenomena in the context of resource-constrained research institutions in a developing country. We use survey data and employ negative binomial regression models. Results indicate that publication productivity is significantly linked to professional network factors, but there is no evidence of any association with scientific collaboration. We observe that most scientists collaborate in research projects despite coordination difficulties, and without any measurable impact on their productivity. Our interviews reveal that a possible answer to this puzzle appears to be rooted in a practice that views collaborative research projects not mainly as a means to producing knowledge and gaining recognition, but for acquiring professional opportunities and extrinsic rewards. Our findings suggest a new way of modeling publication productivity, with implications for science and innovation policy in both the developed and the developing world.
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