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The next generation (plus one): an analysis of doctoral students’ academic fecundity based on a novel approach to advisor identification

Journal article
Authors Dominik P. Heinisch
Guido Buenstorf
Published in Scientometrics
Volume 117
Issue 1
Pages 351-380
ISSN 01389130
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Pages 351-380
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-...
Keywords Academic careers, Advisor affects, Advisor identification, Fecundity, Machine learning, Ph.D. training
Subject categories Economics and Business, Business Administration, Economics

Abstract

© 2018, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary. Scientific communities reproduce themselves by allowing senior scientists to educate young researchers, in particular through the training of doctoral students. This process of reproduction is imperfectly understood, in part because there are few large-scale datasets linking doctoral students to their advisors. We present a novel approach employing machine learning techniques to identify advisors among (frequent) co-authors in doctoral students’ publications. This approach enabled us to construct an original dataset encompassing more than 20,000 doctoral student-advisor pairs in applied physics and electrical engineering from German universities, 1975–2005. We employ this dataset to analyze the “fecundity” of doctoral students, i.e. their probability to become advisors themselves.

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