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An insight into the Matthew effect in Mexico

Judith Licea de Arenas (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, México)
Miguel Arenas (Departamento de Producción Agrícola y Animal, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco, México, and)
Sergio Márquez and Catalina Pérez (Dirección General de Bibliotecas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, México)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to profile the prizewinners of the most prestigious award in Mexico, the National Prize for Sciences and the Arts and the Emeritus Professorship awarded by the National University of Mexico.


The paper draws upon data retrieved from the Web of Science (1995‐2006).


The 68 laureates published 1,175 papers and received a total of 13,443 citations. The most productive scientists were in the age group 65‐69, while those over 75 years of age were the least productive as well as the less cited. Most prizewinners have at least 35 years' experience scientists, who have been active as researchers for 30‐39 years, were the most productive and the most cited.

Research limitations/implications

Results presented in this paper could complement other indicators of research performance used to determine the visibility of Mexican science, research institutions and individuals and whether resources and influence should be distributed more equitably. The operationalization of the Matthew effect could be minimized if awards committees were to correlate bibliometrics with the peer review process in order to reward the most creative researchers.


The paper focuses on research performance of Mexican academics.



Licea de Arenas, J., Arenas, M., Márquez, S. and Pérez, C. (2008), "An insight into the Matthew effect in Mexico", Library Review, Vol. 57 No. 5, pp. 386-391.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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