Academic research production in Canada: individual, institutional and systemic factors

Although Canada ranks among the world’s top 10 countries in terms of research production, it has moved from 7th to 9th place between 2009 and 2013 (CAC, 2016). There are still gaps in our understanding of the individual, institutional and systemic factors contributing to or impeding research production in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. This project will test the influence of 4 individual factors (gender, origin, academic rank and personal preferences), 3 institutional factors (founding traits, partnerships and governance), and 8 systemic factors (social beliefs, academic traditions, governance, funding, academic work, institutional differentiation, collaboration with the private sector, and internationalization). The project relies on 3 data sets. First, we will conduct a multilevel regression using the data already collected through the questionnaire on the Academic Profession in the Knowledge Society (n = 2,988 professors) to measure the influence of individual and institutional factors on output levels. We will then conduct a MANOVA on the data collected through the systemic factors questionnaire (sent to 20,354 professors) to determine whether one factor is perceived to be significantly more important than the others. Finally, we will perform thematic analyses of the transcripts of 105 interviews with key players involved in research production. We will develop the first multifactorial, multilevel and multidisciplinary model that can conceptualize the inter-influence of different levels of factors, as well as help us understand why pan-Canadian initiatives produce different results across provinces, institutions and even researchers (Niosi, 2015).


Funding: SSHRC-Insight Development Grant (2019–2021)


Researchers: Olivier Bégin-Caouette, Amy Scott Metcalfe, Glen A. Jones, Grace Karram Stephenson and Sébastien Béland