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incentives to publish

  • Symposium: Why European Political Science is so Unproductive and What should be done about it
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  • volume 6pages 185–191 (2007)
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European political scientists lag behind their US counterparts when it comes to publication in peer-reviewed outlets and for many established academics publication declines as they reach more advanced stages of their careers. I attribute this mainly to a lack of incentives to publish more, and through better channels. Based mainly on recent Norwegian developments, I acknowledge that efforts are being made to improve the situation, but argue that more can be done by universities, research institutes, and research councils.

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  1. I am grateful to the Research Council of Norway for financial support, to Gerald Schneider for recruiting me to the symposium at the ECPR General Conference in Budapest, 8–10 September 2005, and to Kristian Gleditsch, Kristian Gundersen, Kristian Berg Harpviken, Håvard Hegre, Jon Hovi, Gerald Schneider, and Gunnar Sivertsen for help and comments on an earlier version of this article. None of them are responsible for the final result. For a valuable lesson that civil servants commissioning applied research can appreciate the importance of research publication, I wish to record my gratitude to the late Trond Folke Lindberg, who represented the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Board of the ‘Multi’ programme in the Research Council of Norway.

  2. Ironically Hix, who publishes extensively in leading journals, published these articles in two journals that are not indexed by the ISI Web of Science. They seem to have had considerable impact nevertheless. His detailed data can be found at

  3. For a recent debate, see Haverland (2005), Bull and Espindola (2005), and Hix (2005).

  4. Personal communication many years ago, but well after Erich Weede had become a full professor. When confronted with this statement at the Fourth European International Relations Conference in The Hague on 9 September 2004, where he was awarded the Lewis F. Richardson prize for lifetime service (see Schneider, 2005: 261 and, he could no longer remember having made the statement, but conceded that he might have, and accepted the doctrine.

  5. That is, research institutes outside the universities, most of which do applied research. Norway has an unusually large ‘institute sector’ in the social sciences.

  6. Competence to assume a tenured position can also be established on the basis of an applicant's publication record. Among the older generation of social scientists it has not been uncommon to achieve professorial rank without a doctoral degree, as exemplified by the present writer.

  7. However, nothing as extensive as the REA has been carried out or is in progress in Norway.

  8. For descriptions of these programmes see

  9. See Forskning med tellekanter. Publiseringsutvalgets innstilling, 28 February 2003,

  10. See ‘Vekt på forskning. Nytt system for dokumentasjon av vitenskapelig publisering. Innstilling fra faglig og teknisk utvalg til Universitets- og høgskolerådet’ (Report prepared for the Norwegian Council for Higher Education), 12 November 2004, In this report, articles in Level 2 periodicals were scored 5, but this was later modified to 3. Not all institutions have adopted these precise weights.

  11. Personal communication from Jon Hovi, 9 February 2006.


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Gleditsch, N. incentives to publish. Eur Polit Sci 6, 185–191 (2007).

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