How does scientific success relate to individual and organizational characteristics? A scientometric study of psychology researchers in the German-speaking countries
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- Bauer, H.P.W., Schui, G., von Eye, A. et al. Scientometrics (2013) 94: 523. doi:10.1007/s11192-012-0760-3
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Purpose: To provide up-to-date bibliometric reference data describing the output and success of psychology researchers in the German-speaking countries, including lifetime publication and citation numbers, and to investigate associations of bibliometric measures with academic status and gender as well as the department characteristics of size and quota of senior researchers. Method Queried literature databases using an extensive online register of academic psychologists in the German-speaking countries, obtaining valid data for 85 % (N = 1742) of the population of interest. Findings Skewed distributions for publications and citations; maximum number of German-language (=native) publications much higher than maximum number of English-language publications; relatively large part of population publishing almost exclusively in German; publication count predictable by academic status, gender, department size, and quota of senior researchers; citation count predictable by publication count, status, department size, and quota of senior researchers; department characteristics interact with individual characteristics to produce specific conditions under which publication count and citation count are higher or lower than expected: combination of female gender, small department size and large quota of senior researchers is associated with particularly increased publication count; female gender and large department size are associated with decreased publication count; high publication count, large department size and low quota of senior researchers are associated with increased citation count; low publication count and large quota of senior researchers are associated with decreased citation count. Conclusions Reference values for scientific output provided in this study provide an anchor for monitoring and international comparison; despite considerable noise in data, we show that interactions of individual and organizational characteristics are relevant for scientific success and should be investigated further, e.g. by adopting various measures of organizational diversity and tracing a population longitudinally.