Measuring the productivity of national R&D systems: Challenges in cross-national comparisons of R&D input and publication output indicators

Journal Article in Science and Public Policy, 2016.

Abstract. We investigate methodological problems in measuring research productivity at the national level by comparing official R&D statistics from the OECD with publication data from the Web of Science. Data from 18 countries are analysed. This paper problematizes the approach taken in studies where R&D statistics are used as an input variable and publications as an output variable to draw conclusions about the productivity or efficiency of national research and innovation systems. We consider possible pitfalls in such analyses and propose steps that can improve the comparability of these two data sources. We recommend that efforts are made among the OECD member countries to produce more reliable and commensurable international R&D statistics.

publication details

Title Measuring the productivity of national R&D systems: Challenges in cross-national comparisons of R&D input and publication output indicators
Category Academic article
AuthorDag W. Aksnes
AuthorGunnar Sivertsen
AuthorThed N. van Leeuwen
AuthorKaja Kathrine Wendt
publication year2016
issn0302-3427