Skip to main content
Log in

Differences in research orientation reflected in the allocation of grants

A methodological study

Scientometrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


The scientists in the Social Science Research Councils are, after all, human and their own research orientation will influence their attitude towards applicants and projects. But their attitude will be strengthened or counteracted by other factors. They may be conscious of their bias and try to compensate for it either because they really want to be fair or because they are afraid to appear biassed in the eyes of the other council members. And then other personal factors may affect their decision: friendship with the applicants, their wish to repay a former member of the council for grants they once received from him or their striving for their own personal research empire. Each such factor will influence grant allocation in a special way. The neo-positivistic sociologist in the Swedish Social Science Research Council was in 1973 relieved by a more radical sociologist and we have used this opportunity to see whether it is possible to study the effect of the changed research orientation, although other personal factors will influence grant allocation. We worked out alternative hypothesis systems built on a) research orientation and b) personal research empire building. Our method made sense in this particular case and should be possible to use under similar conditions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Boalt, G., Bergryd, U. Differences in research orientation reflected in the allocation of grants. Scientometrics 1, 151–159 (1979).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: