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What contributes towards research excellence in political science? To consider this issue, Part I describes the core concepts of academic productivity and impact and their operationalization, using the h-index. The study theorizes that variations in this measure may plausibly be influenced by personal characteristics (like gender, career longevity, and formal qualifications), working conditions (academic rank, type of department, and job security), as well as subjective role perceptions (exemplified by the perceived importance of scholarly research or teaching). Part II sets out the new evidence used for exploring these issues, drawing upon the ECPR-IPSA World of Political Science survey. This study gathered information from 2,446 political scientists in 102 countries around the globe. Part III presents the distribution and analysis of the results, as well as several robustness tests. Part IV summarizes the key findings and considers their broader implications. In general, several personal characteristics and structural working conditions prove significant predictors of h-index scores, whereas motivational goals and role perceptions add little, if anything, to the models. The gender gap also becomes insignificant once controls are introduced for career longevity and formal qualifications.


Norris, Pippa. "What Maximizes Research Excellence? Productivity and Impact in Political Science." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP20-010, April 2020.