Does monetary support increase citation impact of scholarly papers?

Tonta Y., AKBULUT M.

SCIENTOMETRICS, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


One of the main indicators of scientific development of a given country is the number of papers published in high impact scholarly journals. Many countries introduced performance-based research funding systems to create a more competitive environment where prolific researchers get rewarded with subsidies to increase both the quantity and quality of papers. Yet, subsidies do not always function as a leverage to improve the citation impact of scholarly papers. This paper investigates the effect of the publication support system of Turkey (TR) on the citation impact of papers authored by Turkish researchers. Based on a stratified probabilistic sample of 4521 TR-addressed papers, it compares the number of citations to determine whether supported papers were cited more often than those of not supported ones and published in journals with relatively higher citation impact in terms of journal impact factors (JIF), article influence scores (AIS) and quartiles. Both supported and not supported papers received comparable number of citations per paper and were published in journals with similar citation impact values. The results of the hurdle model test showed that monetary support is related with reducing the number of uncited papers, and with slightly increasing the citation impact of papers with positive (i.e., non-zero) citations. Journal-level metrics of JIF, AIS and quartiles are not associated with papers' getting their first citations nor with receiving higher citation counts. Findings suggest that subsidies do not seem to be an effective incentive to improve the citation impact of scholarly TR-addressed papers. Such support programs should therefore be reconsidered.