Impact of assessment criteria on publication behaviour: the case of communication research in Spain

« Introduction: This paper outlines the evolution of Spanish production in the area of communication research over the last seventeen years. It analyses whether the consolidation of the existing systems of assessment of scientific activity have been mirrored by an increase in the output of Spanish authors in journals indexed by the Social Sciences Citation Index.

Method:  A bibliometric approach to the subject matter has been selected.  We have analysed indicators such as institutional and individual productivity, models of publishing and dynamics of co-operation (intra-and inter-institutional, national and international).

Analysis: This method has been applied to thirty-four journals included in the communication category of the Social Sciences Citation Index. To ensure consistency in the data collected, only journals that have remained in this database over the seventeen years covered by the research, from 1994 to 2010, have been selected.

Results: Results reveal that the output of Spanish researchers in communication has increased significantly over five years, from forty-eight papers in 1994-2005, to eighty-two for the period 2006-2010.

Conclusions: The increase coincides with the creation in 2002 of National Quality and Accreditation Evaluation Agency (ANECA) whose assessment criteria give priority to publication in journals indexed by the Social Sciences Citation Index. »