« Seed money » and publication output in Mexican research: A case study of IFS grantees

Paru en 2013 aux éditions Interciencia Association
par Russell Jane M. et al.

This study assesses the effect of grants given to young Mexican researchers by the International Foundation for Science (IFS) on the development of their academic careers through an analysis of their publication output. Since 1974 IFS has supported similar to 4000 young scientists in developing countries conducting relevant and high quality research on the sustainable use of biological natural resources. In March 2000 publication lists received from 105 of the 138 current and former Mexican grantees were coded for type and format of publication, language of publication, publication in mainstream journals, co-authorships and author position. These variables were analyzed in relation to the time period when the grant was given, number of grants given, research area and membership of the Mexican National Researchers System (SNI). The publication trends show that IFS support contributed to publication output, to more frequent publication in English and more often in mainstream journals, thus increasing the international visibility of their work and contributing to the internationalization of Mexican science. It is suggested that the grantees receiving IFS financing were able to establish themselves as bona fide scientists in Mexico, especially those from minor universities and research institutes, reducing the likelihood of brain drain and contributing to strengthen national research. Nonetheless, it is concluded that while IFS may not be considered essential to the development of most scientist’s research, its funding is an effective facilitator for a continuing research career.

ISSN: 0378-1844