Substitution and Complementarity in the Creation and Communication of Australian University Research
The generation of research is one of the major functions of the University sector. In most disciplines, journal articles continue to be the main outlet for the communication of research findings. However, in Australia, government induced distortions have rewarded refereed conference papers an equal status to refereed journal papers. The aim of this paper is to explore the association between research published in journals and research published in conference proceedings. We use a panel dataset of the research output of 36 Australian universities, for the period 1995-2004. Cobb-Douglas research production functions are estimated, as well as a system of research production functions that allows for simultaneity. The results indicate that journals and conferences are contemporaneous substitutes – an expansion in conference publications displaces journal publications. There is also a “DEST effect”. On average, conference papers are not converted into subsequent journal papers. The DEST effect is found also through analysis of the publication histories of 152 business and law academics. Post-graduate enrollments are shown to contribute only to conferences and have no effect on journal publications. Research income has a positive effect on both conferences and journal publications.
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