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Title: Emerald authorship data, Lotka's law and research productivity
Authors: Rowlands, Ian
First Published: 2005
Abstract: Purpose – This paper offers a practical insight into the application of Lotka's law of author productivity to the question of how likely it is that an author will return to a particular publisher (rather than make another contribution to a subject literature, which is its usual application). The question of author loyalty, especially repeat visits, is one which is of great interest to publishers. Design/methodology/approach – This paper shows, possibly for the first time, that the author productivity distribution predicted by Lotka's law for subject literatures also holds for publisher aggregates, in this case, all Emerald authors. Findings – The ideas presented here are speculative and programmatic: they raise questions and provide a robust intellectual framework for further research into the determinants of author loyalty, as seen from the publisher side. Practical implications – The implications for commissioning editors and marketing departments in journal publishing houses are that repeat visiting authors are indeed scarce commodities, not necessarily because of barriers put in their way by publishers, but because research production is very asymmetrically skewed in favour of a small productive élite. Originality/value – By analysing survey data it should be possible, within very broad parameters, to identify clusters of say high, medium and low research activity authors. This would provide insight into potential “hot spots” of future publishing intent and, in the case of dense and overworked research areas, early warning as to when to start looking elsewhere for future articles.
DOI Link: 10.1108/00012530510579039
ISSN: 0001-253X
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, University Library

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