The revised version of Baccini, A., Barabesi, L., Cioni, M., Pisani C., “Crossing the hurdle: the determinants of individual scientific performance” available here in preprint, on-line first 2 August 2014 in Scientometrics.
ABSTRACT. An original cross sectional dataset referring to a medium sized Italian university is implemented in order to analyze the determinants of scientific research production at individual level. The dataset includes 942 permanent researchers of various scientific sectors for a three year time span (2008 – 2010). Three different indicators – based on the number of publications or citations – are considered as response variables. The corresponding distributions are highly skewed and display an excess of zero – valued observations. In this setting, the goodness of fit of several Poisson mixture regression models are explored by assuming an extensive set of explanatory variables. As to the personal observable characteristics of the researchers, the results emphasize the age effect and the gender productivity gap, as previously documented by existing studies. Analogously, the analysis confirm that productivity is strongly affected by the publication and citation practices adopted in different scientific disciplines. The empirical evidence on the connection between teaching and research activities suggests that no univocal substitution or complementarity thesis can be claimed: a major teaching load does not affect the odds to be a non-active researcher and does not significantly reduce the number of publications for active researchers. In addition, new evidence emerges on the effect of researchers administrative tasks, which seem to be negatively related with researcher’s productivity, and on the composition of departments. Researchers’ productivity is apparently enhanced by operating in department filled with more administrative and technical staff, and it is not significantly affected by the composition of the department in terms of senior or junior researchers.