Inderscience Publishers

The determinants of research output in academic biomedical laboratories

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The biotechnology industry supply chain begins with a scientific discovery that often originates in academic research laboratories. This study identified determinants of scientific knowledge output (publications and citations) in a sample of academic Canadian biomedical laboratories. The amount of research funding was found to be a positive determinant of the number of publications, but the relationship is non-linear indicating diminishing returns to funding. However, funding had no direct effect on citations, though it did have an indirect effect because publication rates and citation rates are positively correlated. Although the source of funding (public or private) did not have an impact on the number of publications, publicly-funded research is associated with higher citation counts than industry-funded research. Collaboration with external biomedical researchers significantly increased both the quantity and quality of publications. Principal investigators' educational qualifications are also a significant determinant of research outputs. Physician biomedical researchers published fewer journal papers than those with only PhDs, however their publications (especially for those with both MD and PhD degrees) had significantly higher citation rates. Implications for industry–university collaborative research are presented.

Keywords: biotechnology, biomedical research, research productivity, Canada, university-industry collaboration

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