nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒06‒05
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. A model of scholarly publishing with hybrid academic journals By Damien Besancenot; Radu Vranceanu
  2. Fear of novelty : a model of scientific discovery with strategic uncertainty By Damien Besancenot; Radu Vranceanu
  3. A Bayesian h-index: how to measure research impact By Paola Cerchiello; Paolo Giudici

  1. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) - CNRS); Radu Vranceanu (ESSEC - Economics Department - Essec Business School)
    Abstract: In April 2013, all of the major academic publishing houses moved thousands of journal titles to an original hybrid model, under which authors of accepted papers can choose between an expensive open access track and the traditional track available only to subscribers. This paper argues that authors might use publication strategy as a quality signaling device. The imperfect information game between authors and readers presents several types of Perfect Bayesian Equilibria, including a separating equilibrium in which only authors of high quality papers are driven toward the open access track. The publishing house will choose the open-access publication fee that supports the emergence of the highest return equilibrium. Journal structures will evolve over time according to the journals' accessibility - quality profiles.
    Date: 2014–03–23
  2. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) - CNRS); Radu Vranceanu (Economics Department - Essec Business School)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the production of fundamental research as a coordination game played by scholars. In the model, scholars decide to adopt a new idea only if they believe that a critical mass of peers is following a similar research strategy. If researchers observe only a noisy idiosyncratic signal of the true scientifi…c potential of a new idea, we show that the game presents a single threshold equilibrium. In this environment, fundamental research proceeds with large structural breaks followed by long periods of time in which new ideas are unsuccessful. The likelihood of a new idea emerging depends on various parameters, including the rewards of working in the old paradigm, the critical mass of researchers required to create a new school of thought and scholars ability to properly assess the scientifi…c value of new ideas.
    Date: 2014–12–26
  3. By: Paola Cerchiello (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Paolo Giudici (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: The quality of academic research is difficult to measure and rather controversial. Hirsch has proposed the h index, a measure that has the advantage of summarizing in a single summary statistic the information that is contained in the citation counts of each scientist. Although the h index has received a great deal of interest, only a few papers have analyzed its statistical properties and implications. We claim that statistical modeling can give a lot of added value over a simple summary like the h index. To show this, in the paper we propose a negative binomial distribution to jointly model the two main components of the h index: the number of papers and their citations. We then propose a Bayesian model that allows to obtain posterior inferences on the parameters of the distribution and, in addition, a predictive distribution for the h index itself. Such a predictive distribution can be used to compare scientists on a fairer ground, and in terms of their future contribution, rather than on their past performance.
    Date: 2015–05

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