Research 'stars' in New Zealand: concentration, persistence and mobility

MBIE Research Report

Research has its ‘stars’.    
Stardom waxes and wanes, but    
stars don’t often leave.    

aziz acharki 370112 unsplash‘Star’ researchers—those who produce the most influential research outputs—have been shown to play an important role in the overall impact of a country’s research and innovation system. This means the behaviour of stars—where they come from, whether they tend to be the same people over an extended period of time, and the likelihood that they will leave New Zealand—has important consequences for innovation policy. In this report, we identify a set of star researchers in New Zealand, based on the publication of very highly cited papers. We then investigate the concentration of such highly cited papers across authors; the persistence of stardom across time, and the extent to which stars come from abroad or leave New Zealand after their stardom.

This document is on the MBIE website here.


Jaffe, Adam, Kate Preston and Dominic White. 2019. "Research 'stars' in New Zealand: concentration, persistence and mobility." MBIE Working Paper. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Wellington, New Zealand. DOI:


Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment