Resources, Research Assessment, and Institutional Affiliations in Academia



Project Description

Public funding of scientific research is an investment in the creation of new knowledge which is disclosed and transferred to society via education, publication, and application. Economic research has long stressed that universities provide resources such as skilled labor and knowhow that are crucial for technological progress (Rosenberg 1994; Zucker et al. 2002; Mansfield 1995, 1998), and ultimately foster economic development (Aghion et al. 2008, 2010; Hausman 2012). Understanding the institutional factors that shape researchers’ incentives to create, disclose, and transfer their knowledge seems thus crucial not only because of its importance for research policy (Salter and Martin 2001; Stephan 2012). Changing institutional conditions and recent trends in the organization of academic research (OECD 2008a; Aghion et al. 2010) suggest that there may be implications for the governance and development of science and its economic impact.

This project focuses on one unexplored trend in the organization and governance of science: the occurrence and increase in multiple affiliations, i.e. academics’ attachment to more than one institution. In Germany 19% of authors on academic papers reported more than one address in 2013, up from 9% in 2008. In the United Kingdom (UK) the share increased from 9% in 2008 to 15% five years later. In an academic environment, that supports inter-institutional affiliations and mobility (Crespi et al. 2007; Lam 2007; Lawson and Shibayama 2013), multiple affiliations seem to become more widespread among academic staff (OECD 2008b) and therefore impact knowledge generation and diffusion. Multiple affiliations can take different forms, including secondary affiliations at (i) a different academic unit within the same institution, (ii) a different institution within the same country, (iii) an institution abroad, or (iv) at a non-university institution, e.g. a public research organization (PRO), government institution or a private-sector firm. Certain types of affiliations may occur for different reasons and may differ in their consequences for academic research.However, so far the evidence on multiple affiliations in academia is mainly anecdotal. It seems therefore valuable to investigate the motives behind multiple affiliations and their distinct consequences for academic research.

In this project, we outline a plan for an interdisciplinary and international research project that consists of an empirical field study which will serve as the cornerstone for investigating questions associated with governance of universities, knowledge generation, and diffusion. In particular, our research aims to investigate the roots, patterns and consequences of multiple affiliations in academia. The project will be the first to study this phenomenon in a systematic manner, taking into account research field and country-specific factors. We make use of the comprehensive Web of Science (WoS provided by Thomsen Reuters) publication database to compile a unique data set of scientific publications and author characteristics. Further, we use this database as sampling population for a survey of academics in Germany, the UK, and Japan. We will design, test, and undertake a web-based survey in combination with computer-aided telephone interviews (CATI) that allow the investigation of motivations and individual background of academics in all three countries. Using an approach that combines bibliometric, survey and econometric methods, the project constitutes a first contribution to the investigation of trends in multiple affiliations, motivations for them and whether multiple affiliations are relevant for research performance.


Project-Based Publications

Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia: A first look at multiple institutional affiliations: a study of authors in Germany, Japan and the UK. Scientometrics 111 (1), 2017, 285–295. Download

Fudickar, Roman; Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia: What’s the price of academic consulting? Effects of public and private sector consulting on academic research. Industrial and Corporate Change 27 (4), 2018, 699–722. Download

Hottenrott, Hanna; Rose, Michael E.; Lawson, Cornelia: The Rise of Multiple Institutional Affiliations in Academia. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 3, 2021. Download

Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia: What's behind Multiple Institutional Affiliations in Academia. ZEW Discussion Paper 21-035, 2021. Download

Lawson, Cornelia, Shibayama, Sotaro: The use of rewards in the sharing of research resources, Research Policy, Fortcoming, 2021.