Empirical regularity in academic research productivity patterns in marketing
International Journal of Research in Marketing , Volume 28 - Issue 3 p. 248- 257
In any academic discipline, published articles in their respective journals represent "production units" of scientific knowledge, and bibliometric distributions reflect the patterns in this productivity across authors or "producers". We use a comprehensive data set from 11 leading marketing journals to examine whether there is any empirical regularity in the patterns of research productivity in the marketing literature. Our results present strong evidence that there is indeed a distinct empirical regularity. It is the so-called generalized Lotka's Law of patterns in scientific productivity: the number of authors publishing n papers is approximately 1/ncof those publishing one paper. We find the empirically estimated value of the exponent c to be 2.05 for the overall bibliometric data across the leading marketing journals. For individual journals, the estimated values of c range from 2.15 to 2.83, with lower values indicating higher authorship concentration levels. We also find that variations in authorship concentration levels across journals and over time are driven by a journal's maturity, its topical focus, its attractiveness as a publication outlet, the characteristics of its review process, and the extent of author collaboration present in the journal. We discuss the general implications of our findings.