Scientific output scales with resources. A comparison of US and European universities

Autoři: Benedetto Lepori aff001;  Aldo Geuna aff002;  Antonietta Mira aff004
Působiště autorů: Faculty of Communication Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland aff001;  Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti De Martiis, University of Turin, Turin, Italy aff002;  BRICK, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, Italy aff003;  Institute of Computational Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223415


By using a comprehensive dataset of US and European universities, we demonstrate super-linear scaling between university revenues and their volume of publications and (field-normalized) citations. We show that this relationship holds both in the US and in Europe. In terms of resources, our data show that three characteristics differentiate the US system: (1) a significantly higher level of resources for the entire system, (2) a clearer distinction between education-oriented institutions and doctoral universities and (3) a higher concentration of resources among doctoral universities. Accordingly, a group of US universities receive a much larger amount of resources and have a far higher number of publications and citations when compared to their European counterparts. These results demonstrate empirically that international rankings are by and large richness measures and, therefore, can be interpreted only by introducing a measure of resources. Implications for public policies and institutional evaluation are finally discussed.

Klíčová slova:

Bibliometrics – Citation analysis – Europe – Government funding of science – Public policy – Social sciences – United States – Institutional funding of science


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2019 Číslo 10