Do university–industry co-publication outputs correspond with university funding from firms?

Alfredo Yegros-Yegros, Joaquín M Azagra-Caro, Mayte López-Ferrer, Robert JW Tijssen
Research Evaluation
Analysts of university–industry interaction sometimes measure it through numbers of university–industry co-publications (UICs), because of their relative availability and international comparability. However, we do not know whether UICs correspond to another measure of interaction: university
funding from firms. We propose a conceptual model on four types of relationships between UICs and university funding from firms, emphasizing the interactive nature of their relation, e.g. not only funding can lead to UICs, but also UICs can signal competences that motivate funding. We test the
model with UIC and income data from the Polytechnic University of Valencia at individual level: around 6–7% of researchers participating in projects with firms were authors of UICs published in 2008–11; and around 27% of those UIC authors were participating in projects with firms during that period. Overall, we do not find evidence of any significant positive correlation between UIC output and university funding from the business sector in general. The one exception is a minority of authors who participate in business-funded projects, where we find a positive association of current UICs and business funding