IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v56y2010i9p1439-1461.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns

Author

Listed:
  • Waverly W. Ding

    () (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720)

  • Sharon G. Levin

    () (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63121)

  • Paula E. Stephan

    () (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and NBER, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30302)

  • Anne E. Winkler

    () (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63121)

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of information technology (IT) on productivity and collaboration patterns in academe. Our data combine information on the diffusion of two noteworthy innovations in IT--BITNET and the Domain Name System (DNS)--with career-history data on research-active life scientists. We analyzed a random sample of 3,114 research-active life scientists from 314 U.S. institutions over a 25-year period and find that the availability of BITNET on a scientist's campus has a positive effect on his or her productivity and collaborative network. Our findings also support the hypothesis of a differential effect of IT across subgroups of the scientific labor force. Women scientists and those working at nonelite institutions benefit more from the availability of IT in terms of overall research output and an increase in the number of new coauthors they work with than do men or individuals at elite institutions. These results suggest that IT is an equalizing force, providing a greater boost to productivity and more collaboration opportunities for scientists who are more marginally positioned in academe.

Suggested Citation

  • Waverly W. Ding & Sharon G. Levin & Paula E. Stephan & Anne E. Winkler, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1439-1461, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:9:p:1439-1461
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1195
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kim, E. Han & Morse, Adair & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Are elite universities losing their competitive edge?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 353-381, September.
    2. Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb, 2008. "Restructuring Research: Communication Costs and the Democratization of University Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1578-1590, September.
    3. Tanya S. Rosenblat & Markus M. Mobius, 2004. "Getting Closer or Drifting Apart?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 971-1009.
    4. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
    5. Sanjeev Dewan & Kenneth L. Kraemer, 2000. "Information Technology and Productivity: Evidence from Country-Level Data," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 548-562, April.
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of the Economics of Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    7. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Sharon M. Oster, 2002. "Tools or Toys? The Impact of High Technology on Scholarly Productivity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 539-555, October.
    8. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    9. Marshall Van Alstyne & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2005. "Global Village or Cyber-Balkans? Modeling and Measuring the Integration of Electronic Communities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(6), pages 851-868, June.
    10. Kimberlee Shauman & Yu Xie, 1996. "Geographic mobility of scientists: Sex differences and family constraints," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(4), pages 455-468, November.
    11. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-720, May.
    12. Maryellen R. Kelley, 1994. "Productivity and Information Technology: The Elusive Connection," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(11), pages 1406-1425, November.
    13. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    14. Anne Winkler & Sharon Levin & Paula Stephan, 2010. "The diffusion of IT in higher education: publishing productivity of academic life scientists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(5), pages 481-503.
    15. Bozeman, Barry & Corley, Elizabeth, 2004. "Scientists' collaboration strategies: implications for scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 599-616, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:9:p:1439-1461. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.