HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 13 no. 2 (2013)

Research Productivity of East Asian Scientists: Does Cosmopolitanism in Professional Networking, Research Collaboration, and Scientific Conference Attendance Matter?

Susan Marie Aguilar | Marcus Antonius Ynalvez | John C. Kilburn | Noriko Hara | Ruby Ynalvez | Kuo-hua Chen | Yoshinori Kamo

Discipline: Social Science



Our study (in the area of sociology of science) examines how cosmopolitanism in three spheres of scientific engagement — networking, collaborating, and conferencing — influences total journal productivity (TOTAL) and productivity in high impact journals (HIJ; impact factor ≥ 4). We hypothesize that scientists who exhibit cosmopolitanism in these spheres of scientific engagement have higher HIJ and TOTAL publication counts. To test this hypothesis, we conducted face-to-face interviews with a sample of n=84 life scientists in doctoral granting institutions in Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. We analyzed our data using a set of generalized linear models (i.e., an over-dispersed Poisson regression for HIJ and a negative binomial regression for TOTAL) with publication counts as the outcome variables, and measures of professional networking, research collaboration, and scientific conferencing as our main predictor variables. To increase the precision of our regression estimates, we incorporated variables pertaining to contextual and personal attributes as multivariate statistical controls. Our results indicate a positive association between HIJ productivity and proportion of foreign contacts, and no association between productivity and collaborations involving foreign participants. Although conference attendance in general is linked with increased productivity (HIJ and TOTAL), conference attendance abroad is not. These findings appear to suggest that the formal collaborative research group with its instrumental ties may not be conducive to productivity, but the informal professional network with its affective ties may be conducive; and having a cosmopolitan professional network is a strong predictor of productivity in high quality outlets.