In the scenario you are proposing (drag and drop items from a long list), several factors must be taken into account. Every factor might present potential hurdles to the user.
- On screen real estate: is the target easy to reach? Check Fitt's Law.
List item size.
- Unwanted scrolling: when reaching the bottom of the screen, the screen will start scrolling which makes the target destination a moving one, adding even more difficulty to perform the task.
- User dexterity: the ability to keep the device (mouse or screen) active (pressed down / tapped / whatever) while scrolling.
So no, besides Fitt's Law, I can't reference any research about it. But what I mentioned above hints that it will not be an easy task.
Edit: I want to make special emphasis in the user dexterity factor, since most designers tend to overlook the fact that many users have some kind of disability to some degree. We need to give the users tools as easy to use as possible.
We often rely in some conventions/patterns/widgets without even asking ourselves if they are really ok to use. There are scenarios where some behaviour like continuous scrolling will be actually helpful (tumblr feed), but there will be others where it will be outright wrong (almost every other use :-P ).
In the case of drag&drop list, until I see a widget that feels comfortable, I totally discourage its use.