Christian Helmers, Henry Overman, 25 November 2017

Highly localised research infrastructure investment, such as in the Large Hadron Collider, often leads to major scientific breakthroughs, but there is little evidence on the longer-term and wider geographical impacts on scientific output. This column uses the example of the UK’s Diamond Light Source to study the impact of large facilities on where scientific research is conducted. Not only do such investments substantially increase directly related research in the local area, they also create spillovers on unrelated research through knowledge sharing.

Paula Stephan, Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, 12 May 2016

There is growing concern that funding agencies supporting scientific research are increasingly risk-averse, favouring safe projects at the expense of novel projects exploring untested approaches. This column uses the citation trajectories for over 1 million research papers to examine the impact profile of novel research. Novel papers tend to suffer from delayed impact, but are more likely to become big hits in the long run and to generate follow-up research. The short time windows of the bibliometric indicators that are increasingly used by funding agencies in their decision-making may bias funding decisions against novelty.

Marie Thursby, Jerry Thursby, Carolin Haeussler, Lin Jiang, 25 November 2009

Sharing of information is critical to scientific progress, but scientists have private incentive to avoid disclosing research. This column analyses the benefits and costs of sharing, both one-to-one and with the general scientific community, and assesses how government funding and scholarly competition shape sharing decisions.

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