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Correlation between quality and quantity in scientific production: A case study of Iranian organizations from 1997 to 2006


  • Zouhayr Hayati

    () (Shiraz University)

  • Saeideh Ebrahimy

    (Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz)


Abstract In order to prevent the formation of a gap between the quality and quantity in Iranian scientific publications, this study makes an effort to analyze Iranian scientific publications indexed on the ISI Web of Science database using quantitative and qualitative scientometrics criteria over a ten year period. As a first step, all Iranian institutes were divided into three categories; universities, research institutes and other organizations. Then they were compared according to quantitative and qualitative criteria. Second, the correlation between the quality and quantity of the publications was measured. The research findings indicated that, according to qualitative criteria (citation, citation impact and percentage of cited documents) there are no meaningful differences among the three groups, while regarding quantitative criterion(number of papers), universities rank higher than the other two groups. The results also indicated that there is a positive and meaningful correlation among qualitative and quantitative criteria in the scholarly scientific publications conducted by Iranian organizations. In other words, in Iranian organizations the quality of publications increases as their quantity increases. The comparison of magnitude of correlation between these two criteria in the three categories reveals the fact that the correlation between number of papers and citations criterion in research institutes is stronger than the other two groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Zouhayr Hayati & Saeideh Ebrahimy, 2009. "Correlation between quality and quantity in scientific production: A case study of Iranian organizations from 1997 to 2006," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 80(3), pages 625-636, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:80:y:2009:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-009-2094-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-009-2094-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should top universities be led by top researchers, and are they?," General Economics and Teaching 0510003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Nian Cai Liu & Ying Cheng & Li Liu, 2005. "Academic ranking of world universities using scientometrics - A comment to the “Fatal Attraction”," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 64(1), pages 101-109, July.
    3. Anne-Wil Harzing, 2005. "Australian Research Output in Economics and Business: High Volume, Low Impact?," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 30(2), pages 183-200, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Minguillo & Mike Thelwall, 2015. "Which are the best innovation support infrastructures for universities? Evidence from R&D output and commercial activities," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 1057-1081, January.
    2. Judith Czellar & Jacques Lanarès, 2013. "Quality of research: which underlying values?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 95(3), pages 1003-1021, June.
    3. Mohammad A. Abolghassemi Fakhree & Abolghasem Jouyban, 2011. "Scientometric analysis of the major Iranian medical universities," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 87(1), pages 205-220, April.
    4. Chien Hsiang Liao, 2011. "How to improve research quality? Examining the impacts of collaboration intensity and member diversity in collaboration networks," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 86(3), pages 747-761, March.
    5. Hajar Sotudeh, 2012. "How sustainable a scientifically developing country could be in its specialties? The case of Iran’s publications in SCI in the 21st century compared to 1980s," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 91(1), pages 231-243, April.

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