nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2014‒07‒13
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Just how Good are the Top Three Journals in Finance? An Assessment based on Quantity and Quality Citations By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer
  2. The Development of Research Assessment in the UK and Italy: Costly and difficult, but probably worth (for a while) By Geuna, Aldo; Piolatto, Matteo
  3. Project-based funding and novelty in university research: Findings from Finland and the UK By Pelkonen, Antti – Thomas
  4. Scientific connectivity of European regions: towards a typology of cooperative schèmes. By Mickael Benaim; Jean-Alain Héraud; Valérie Mérindol; Jean-Paul Villette

  1. By: Chia-Lin Chang (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Michael McAleer (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan; Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: The paper is concerned with ranking academic journal quality and research impact in Finance, based on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI (2013) Web of Science citations database (hereafter ISI). The paper analyses the 89 leading international journals in the ISI category of “Business – Finance” using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs). The analysis highlights the similarities and differences in various RAMs, all of which are based on alternative transformations of journal citations and impact. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to determine the citations frequency of published papers that are cited in journals listed in ISI. The RAMs include the classic 2-year impact factor including journal self citations (2YIF), 2-year impact factor excluding journal self citations (2YIF*), 5-year impact factor including journal self citations (5YIF), Immediacy including journal self citations, Eigenfactor (or Journal Influence), Article Influence, h-index, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), Self-citation Threshold Approval Rating (STAR), 5YD2 (namely, 5YIF divided by 2YIF), Escalating Self Citations (ESC), and ICQ (Index of Citation Quality). The paper calculates the harmonic mean of the ranks of up to 16 RAMs. It is shown that emphasizing 2YIF to the exclusion of other informative RAMs can lead to a misleading evaluation of journal quality and impact relative to the harmonic mean of the ranks. The analysis of the 89 ISI journals in Finance makes it clear that there are three leading journals in Finance, namely Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies, which form an exclusive club in terms of the RAMs that measure journal quality and impact based on alternative measures of journal citations. The next two journals in Finance in terms of overall quality and impact are Journal of Accounting and Economics and Journal of Monetary Economics.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures, Impact factor, IFI, C3PO, PI-BETA, STAR, Eigenfactor, Article Influence, h-index, 5YD2, ICQ, ESC, harmonic mean of the ranks, finance, journal rankings
    JEL: C18 C81 Y10
    Date: 2014–05–23
  2. By: Geuna, Aldo; Piolatto, Matteo (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparative analysis of the development of the UK and Italian university research funding systems with special focus on research assessment and its costs. Much of the debate surrounding the value of research assessment and allocation systems hinges on the disadvantages of implementation versus benefits, while there is very little evidence either on its absolute cost or on the cost relative to other allocation systems. Our objective has been to put together the best possible estimates of these costs to inform the ongoing debate. As the experience of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in the UK clearly shows, performance - based research funding is neither easy to develop, nor to implement and it is not readily accepted by the academic community. The Italian research assessment was inspired by the UK RAE and it has benefited from that experience. However, also in the Italian case its implementation was marred by problems and it was resisted by part of the academic community. The potential efficiency gains from research assessment - based allocation system dependon the concentration level and on the reliance on other competitive systems for research funding. The UK and Italy are in opposite situations. For the former further increase in the use of selective systems might well result in minimal benefits that do not cover the additional costs, while for the latter there are quite some margins for efficiency improvements and therefore the benefits gained through selective systems can outweigh the costs.
    Date: 2014–06
  3. By: Pelkonen, Antti – Thomas
    Abstract: While societal expectations for university research have grown, university research has become more and more dependent on external funding sources. External funding has substantially increased at Finnish – and also UK – universities, and currently in practice a major share of university research is conducted with external funding. This report relates the main findings of a study that analysed the use of project-based research funding instruments at universities, most of which are external. The main focus in the study is on the aspects of novelty and creativity in research and the question of the extent to which different research funding instruments promote these aspects of research. This report draws on different data sources, but mostly on the UNI project (Universities, funding systems, and the renewal of the industrial knowledge base), funded by Tekes innovation research instrument. The major findings include an observation that Finnish research funding system lacks a funder that would strongly encourage risk-taking and novel approaches. Discontinuity and instability of research funding appears as a major challenge for research. There seems to be an overall increase of thematically predefined funding vis-à-vis free researcher-driven funding and close attention should be paid to this balance. Differences between Finland and the UK in terms of novelty generation turned out to be smaller than orignally expected.
    Keywords: funding, university research, novelty
    JEL: O38 O39
    Date: 2014–06–12
  4. By: Mickael Benaim; Jean-Alain Héraud; Valérie Mérindol; Jean-Paul Villette
    Abstract: The diversity of European regions in terms of R&D and of absorptive capacities has been extensively investigated but without taking into account all dimensions of the regional innovation systems. Even though the variety of connections is a source of constraints and opportunities for the development of territories, few analytical contributions have been devoted so far to this subject and to the implications for regional public policies. This article aims at contributing to the analysis of regional research and innovation systems. It focuses on the different types of scientific connectivity present at local to global levels, and proposes a typology of European regions based on co-publication statistics. It links this characterization of European regions with regional policy issues and discusses the relevance of these measures. The typology of scientific connectivity produces new maps of European regions, and challenges the classical R&D point of view about regional systems.
    Keywords: European regions, global-local connectivity, regional public policy, absorptive capacity, scientific activities.
    JEL: O18 O31 R11 R58
    Date: 2014

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