nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒11
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Is Scopus polluting its own database by indexing junk articles? A case study of five journals By Haley, Jackie Earle; Miller, Jonny Lee
  2. Should citations be weighted to assess the influence of an academic article? By Abdelghani Maddi; Damien Besancenot
  3. Do the Values of Economists Matter in the Art and Science of Economics? By van Dalen, Harry

  1. By: Haley, Jackie Earle; Miller, Jonny Lee
    Abstract: The aim of this short research note is to demonstrate that Scopus is polluting its own databases, unintentionally or otherwise, by indexing junk articles. I have used five journals indexed by Scopus in this research note as examples in a case study format. I have found that the publication rate of junk articles for these five journals increased after they began to be indexed in Scopus. These journals are publishing conference papers and graduate students’ initial research reports in which there are many errors. This makes the indexing of The Journal of Social Sciences Research (Online ISSN: 2411-9458/Print ISSN: 2413-6670) questionable as it was considered for evaluation before its current two year publication history, (source: The quality of its published articles is very poor, and it has advertised and promoted false figures for its impact factors. These journals publish articles that are out of their scope and publish every article on condition of payment of a fee by the author that averages out to about 400 USD per article. Given that these journals have been advertising and promoting fake impact factors prior to their being indexed in Scopus and given that Scopus has included them in its central index, they are deceiving young researchers and the broader academic community with false information. Beall (2016) has previously pointed out the issue of the falsified impact factor information in his list of predatory journals. Many universities subscribe to Scopus to, among other reasons, measure the impact of their faculty members' research.. There is therefore a need to address the ethics of this situation, and this study recommends that Scopus carefully index new journals but observe the publication rates of junk articles, and if an indexed journal makes such an error, to take a decision within three months and impose a lifetime ban on indexing the journal.
    Keywords: Junk articles, scholarly databases, Scopus, Predatory journals
    JEL: Y1 Y7 Y8 Y80
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Abdelghani Maddi (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Damien Besancenot (LIRAES - EA 4470 - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche Appliquée en Economie de la Santé - UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5, UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5, USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité)
    Abstract: Citations are by nature heterogeneous. A citation worth may dramatically vary according to the influence of the citing article or to the journal's reputation from which it is issued. Therefore, while assessing the influence of an academic article, how should we weight citations to take into account their real influence? In order to answer this question, this article suggests various methods of weighting citations in the building of articles quality indexes. These indexes are then used to measure the influence of the articles published in the top five economic journals over the 2000-2010 period and analyses the sensibility of these indexes to the choice of the weighting schemes. Our main result is that whatever the weighting scheme, information carried by the different indexes is not significantly different. From Occam's razor principle, the number of citations provides an efficient and sufficient tool to measure research quality.
    Keywords: Pagerank,weighting functions,Citations,Articles' ranking,Eigenfactor
    Date: 2018–11–14
  3. By: van Dalen, Harry (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: What role do personal values play in the practice of economists? By means of a survey among economists working inside and outside academia in the Netherlands we present novel insights into their personal value structure, how they differ from the average citizen, and how it impacts their economic views and their methodological choices. Three overarching values summarize the value structure of economists: achievement, serving the public interest, and conformity to rules. Subsequent tests are performed to see whether these values affect: (1) their opinion on economic propositions; and (2) their attitudes towards methodological principles in economics. For the majority of economic propositions personal values matter. Especially the value to serve the public interest has a strong effect on their economic view. Furthermore, it seems that economists who value achievement are the ones who are more likely to embrace mainstream methodological principles: thinking predominantly in terms of efficiency, rationality and competition, believing that economic knowledge is objective and transparently produced and in agreement with Milton Friedman’s view on positive economics. Female economists are at some notable points less convinced of market solutions and have more trust in the government in serving the public interest.
    Keywords: values; economists; public policy; consensus; methodology; gender
    JEL: A11 A13 B4
    Date: 2019

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