Science at risk? Considering the importance of academic freedom for STEM research production across 17 OECD countries | PLOS ONE

peter.suber's bookmarks 2024-02-23


Abstract:  Since 2011, a declining trend in academic freedom globally has paralleled a rising tide of neo-nationalism. We use fixed effects models to examine data from the Varieties of Democracy (V-DEM) academic freedom index and bibliometric data for 17 OECD countries across nearly three decades (1981–2007) that precede the recent decline in academic freedom. We find substantial, statistically significant, positive relationships between cross-nationally comparable and longitudinal measures of academic freedom and volume of STEM publications. Additionally, academic freedom positively influenced the quality of STEM publications as measured by journal rankings. Our findings were relatively consistent across various measures of academic freedom and model specifications. We discuss implications for safeguarding academic freedom, applying neo-institutional theory, and identifying directions for future research.



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Tags: oa.trends oa.academic_freedom oa.quality

Date tagged:

02/23/2024, 13:27

Date published:

02/23/2024, 08:26