Abstract for: Modeling the Dynamics of Academic Publications and Citations

In promotion, tenure or funding decisions, publication performances of researchers in scientific institutions are evaluated using some performance measures. However, there is a concern that measuring research performance, if not properly done, may damage science. Researchers tend to change their research practices when they are asked to be good at some particular measure. In this study, a dynamic model is developed for analyzing the changes in publication practices of researchers towards improving the performance measures used. Reputation, skill level, total time devoted to research activities, fraction of papers accepted by the journals, publication and citation pressures on researchers are the basic variables in the model. The model is constructed and calibrated using Boğaziši University Engineering Faculty data. Validation of the model is established by standard structure and behavior tests. Scenario and policy analysis are performed with the simulation model. Pushing researchers to publish in high numbers causes spurious publications with low citations. Allowing researchers to spend more time on research activities is found to be an effective policy. Encouraging mostly the high quality research results in more high-quality publications compared to low-quality ones, hence increased citations. The model provides a platform on which many other policies can be tested.