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Excellence and growth dynamics: A comparative study of the Matthew effect

Excellence and growth dynamics: A comparative study of the Matthew effect

Category
Journal publication
Abstract
In the past two decades, centres of excellence (CoE) and other ‘research excellence initiatives’ likely to increase the cumulative advantages and stratification of science, have been implemented in many countries. Based on empirical studies of CoE in four Nordic countries, this paper examines how the resources provided by CoE schemes (generous long-term funding, prestige and visibility) add to the success and growth dynamics of the CoE. The data indicate a modified Matthew effect with ceilings and limits avoiding excessive accumulation of resources. Important impacts of the CoE are found, in particular in terms of enabling more interdisciplinary collaboration and risk-taking and enhancing international recruitment to the research areas involved. But, in contrast to what might be expected, the CoE grant seem to add less to the relative citation rate of those already performing at the highest level, than for those performing at a somewhat lower level prior to the CoE grant.
Client
  • Norges forskningsråd / 212206
Language
English
Author(s)
  • Langfeldt Liv
  • Benner Mats
  • Sivertsen Gunnar
  • Kristiansen Ernst Herlof
  • Aksnes Dag W.
  • Borlaug Siri Brorstad
  • Hansen Hanne Foss
  • Kallerud Egil
  • Pelkonen Antti
Affiliation
  • NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education
  • Lund University
  • SINTEF Group Head Office
  • University of Copenhagen
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Year
2015
Published in
Science and Public Policy
ISSN
0302-3427
Volume
42
Issue
5
Page(s)
661 - 675