nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒23
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Miracle of Peer Review and Development inScience: An Agent-Based Model By Simone Righi; Karoly Takacs
  2. A Functional Review of Literature on Research Careers By Woolley, Richard; Cañibano, Carolina; Tesch, Jakob
  3. Research parasites are bene?cial for the organism as a whole: competition between researchers creates a symbiotic relationship By Gert G. Wagner; Benedikt Fecher

  1. By: Simone Righi; Karoly Takacs
    Abstract: It is not easy to rationalize how peer review, as the current grassroots of science, can work based on voluntary contributions of reviewers. There is no rationale to write impartial and thorough evaluations. Consequently, there is no risk in submitting lowquality work by authors. As a result, scientists face a social dilemma: if everyone acts according to his or her own self-interest, low scientific quality is produced. Still, in practice, reviewers as well as authors invest high effort in reviews and submissions. We examine how the increased relevance of public good benefits (journal impact factor), the editorial policy of handling incoming reviews, and the acceptance decisions that take into account reputational information can help the evolution of high-quality contributions from authors. High effort from the side of reviewers is problematic even if authors cooperate: reviewers are still best off by producing low-quality reviews, which does not hinder scientific development, just adds random noise and unnecessary costs to it. We show with agent-based simulations that tacit agreements between authors that are based on reciprocity might decrease these costs, but does not result in superior scientific quality. Our study underlines why certain self-emerged current practices, such as the increased importance of journal metrics, the reputation-based selection of reviewers, and the reputation bias in acceptance work efficiently for scientific development. Our results find no answers, however, how the system of peer review with impartial and thorough evaluations could be sustainable jointly with rapid scientifi9c development.
    Keywords: peer review; evolution of cooperation; reputation; agent based model.
    Date: 2016–07
  2. By: Woolley, Richard; Cañibano, Carolina; Tesch, Jakob
    Abstract: This paper is designed to systematically reflect upon available theories and empirical developments leading to the proposal of a conceptual framework that will identify: i) main career types of PhD holders; ii) key milestones in career development of each type; and iii) main factors affecting the career decision-making and development process, including personal, organizational, disciplinary, job market and systemic factors. The starting point for this task is the conception of the career as an interactive decision-making process, where career decisions are shaped and taken based on a set of framework conditions. The broad target population both for the conceptual and subsequent empirical exercises are PhD students and holders in all fields of knowledge. The work will focus on providing the following main analytical tools: 1. A typology of careers for PhD students/holders, taking into account both disciplinary and cross-country diversity. Special attention will be devoted to assess the difference between conventional research careers, both in the public and private sector and more unconventional career types (Lee et al., 2010); 2. A sequence of main career milestones for each identified career type; and 3. A structured framework of main factors shaping the career decision-making and development process. A set of most relevant factors will be proposed, taking into account the above-mentioned factors as well as their mutual interaction. Special attention will be paid to cross-country and disciplinary diversity.
    Date: 2016–07–12
  3. By: Gert G. Wagner; Benedikt Fecher
    Keywords: research parasites
    Date: 2016

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