Research Funding Patterns in the UK: With Special Reference to Analytical Science

  • Brychan Thomas

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This work considers the nature of research in Arts and Sciences generally in terms of funding inputs and publication output. The funding is described as broadly 'peer review’ or 'customer contractor’, the definitions for which are described.

    The data base which has been assembled for the study consists of publications from 20 Institutions of Higher Education (10 Universities and 10 Polytechnics of similar size but wide geographical distribution) over the period 1970 - 79. This constitutes 65,110 publications from within 593 academic units.

    Comparisons are made between numbers of publications in the Arts and Sciences. In the chosen Polytechnics 42.2% of the publications are in the Arts whereas in the chosen Universities 41.5% are in the Arts. The number of publications in the Sciences divide between 32,728 science and 5,272 engineering publications which provides a base for comparing funding and traditions in various areas.

    Within science, publications are considered within chemistry and physics and the general processes leading to the emergence of new disciplines are analysed with special reference to perceptions of analytical science as a new area which, in the present work, is deemed to be associated with those publications appearing in 103 journals which come into library classifications related to analytical chemistry and optical physics and which account for 419 papers within the data base.

    Detailed analysis of the 419 analytical science publications has produced information on authorship, equipment and patterns of funding. Further information was gained from questionnaires returned by 82 selected authors and from reports and summaries from the SERC. It is estimated that 63 - 79% of the equipment and 61 – 66% of the manpower is funded by the 'peer review’ rather than by the 'customer-contractor’ process. The 'excellence’ and 'usefulness' in terms of the work carried out and the location or destination of the co-authors in industry, government and education is discussed.
    Date of AwardNov 1984
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Polytechnic of Wales

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