What is it about?

This study describes the Danish publication reward system (BFI). We investigate whether the BFI system's built-in incentives have had an effect on publication behavior, and discusses the possible future implications on researcher incentives should universities wish to measure BFI on the individual level. We analyzed publication data from the university's research information system and from publication databases.

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Why is it important?

Several studies indicate that co-authored scholarly journal articles attract more citations than single author articles. The reason for this are not clear, however, research collaboration across institu- tions and countries is commonly accepted in the research community and among university managements as one way of increasing the researcher’s and institution’s reputation and impact. The BFI system is designed to award scholarly publication activity at Danish universities, especially publication in international journals of high status.


We find that the built-in incentives leave the researcher and his or her institution with a dilemma: If the researchers optimize their performance by forming author groups with external collaborators, the optimal way of doing so for the researchers is not the optimal way seen from the perspective of the university. Our analysis shows that the typical article has 6.5 authors, two of which are internal, and that this has remained stable since the introduction of the BFI.

Dr Bertil F Dorch
Syddansk Universitet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Contradicting incentives for research collaboration, Scientometrics, May 2017, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s11192-017-2412-0.
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