PUERTO RICO, May 23 (Xinhua) — The United States’ academic research infrastructure, which has grown exponentially over the past few decades, could benefit the economy if the government were to allocate more funds to universities, according to a recent research paper published in the International Journal of Academic Research.
The study, “The Economics of Academic Publishing”, was authored by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University at Buffalo (UBC), and the University at Albany (UAL).
In a paper titled, “Estimating the economic benefits of academic publishing”, the authors said that the United States has spent over $150 billion in research funding over the last 30 years.
While the researchers found that academic publishing is beneficial to the economy, they also suggested that there is a need to allocate a larger portion of those funds to university research centers and other academic research centers.
“We think that this can have a significant impact on our economy and our competitiveness in the global economy, as well as to the United Nations,” said Dr. Zeng Liu, one of the authors of the study.
Liu and co-author Dr. Michael J. Dominguez of the University College London (UCL) also highlighted the importance of universities to the U of S. economy.
“The US is the world’s second-largest university system, with around 1.3 million undergraduate students, and more than a quarter of the US population has a degree or graduate degree,” Liu told Xinhua in an email.
“In other words, the US is one of many highly competitive academic research centres that can generate significant economic benefits.”
The authors of “The Economic Benefits of Academic Publication” noted that the academic research sector has experienced a significant increase in the amount of research papers published every year over the course of the past 20 years, with the total amount of papers published in 2016 being nearly 5.7 million, or over $13.6 billion.
In 2016, US universities published around 7.6 million academic research papers, the researchers said.
“This increase in publications over the years is primarily due to the large amount of publications that have been generated in the last five years, as universities are actively looking for new ways to publish,” Liu said.
The United States also has a large academic research population with a total of 1.9 million full-time faculty members.
However, the authors also said that more funding is needed to increase the number of full- time academic researchers, and that the number and quality of research publications are a key driver of economic growth in the United State.
According to Liu, the research paper, entitled, “Research productivity and the US economy: A model of the academic publishing industry”, examined the impact of the UAW-CWA’s $7.2 billion bargaining agreement with the UCSB on academic research, and its impact on the UCL research industry.
The UAW’s agreement with USCB on faculty pay and benefits was one of several measures proposed by the UAB to boost academic research output, which the researchers noted could benefit US academic research in other ways as well.
According the paper, “there is a clear correlation between academic publishing and economic growth”, with the researchers finding that academic research results are positively correlated with economic growth and a decrease in unemployment rates.
In the United Kingdom, the economic impact of academic research has been estimated to be as high as 20 percent of the UK economy, Liu said, noting that it is also a key source of funding for many of the country’s universities.
In addition to the increase in academic research publications, the study also noted that academic researchers were also instrumental in increasing the economic value of the United Stated’s scientific research ecosystem.
“By generating new economic value, the academic researchers create jobs, increase innovation and productivity, and generate jobs for the entire U.s. economy,” Liu wrote.