[Sigmetrics] The Research Focus of Nations: Economic vs. Altruistic Motivations

gopal at annauniv.edu gopal at annauniv.edu
Wed Feb 1 23:07:23 EST 2017

Dear All,

This paper was very interesting to read. I thank the authors for their

However, I wish to take the following viewpoint.

Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the
welfare of others. In theory, this could include giving alms. Altruism
does not consider relationships.

Hence, I prefer using the terms "Intangible Outcomes" and "Tangible
Outcomes" of any research effort.

How do we measure "Intangibles" ?

Is "Insight" an Intangible ?

Your thoughts...

Warmest Regards

Gopal T V
0 9840121302
Dr. T V Gopal
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
College of Engineering
Anna University
Chennai - 600 025, INDIA
Ph : (Off) 22351723 Extn. 3340
      (Res) 24454753
Home Page : http://www.annauniv.edu/staff/gopal

> Dear Colleagues,
> I wanted to bring to your attention a paper that Dick Klavans and I
> had published in PLOS One that we hope will contribute to discussions of
> different motives behind scientific progress, along with the
> appropriateness
> of metrics to address different motives.
> The Research Focus of Nations: Economic vs. Altruistic Motivations
> What motivates the research strategies of nations and institutions? We
suggest that research primarily serves two masters - altruism and
> growth. Some nations focus more research in altruistic (or non-economic)
fields while others focus more research in fields associated with
> growth. What causes this difference? Are there characteristics that
> suggest why a nation is more aligned with altruism or economic growth?
> answer this question, we have identified nine major fields of research
> analyzing the publication activity of 4429 institutions using Scopus
> Two fields of research are clearly altruistic (there is relatively
> involvement by industry) and two fields are clearly aligned with
> growth. The altruistic vs. economic nature of nations based on their
publication profiles across these fields is correlated with national
indicators on wealth, education, capitalism, individualism, power,
> and language. While previous research has suggested that national
> strategy is aligned with national wealth, our analysis shows that
> wealth is not highly correlated with the tradeoff between altruistic and
economic motives. Instead, the tradeoff is largely captured by a culture of
> individualism. Accordingly, implications for national research
> are discussed.
> With apologies for cross-posting.
> Cheers!
> Kevin
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