nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒03‒04
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. When Paywall Goes AWOL: The Demand for Open Access Education Research By Gershenson, Seth; Polikoff, Morgan S.; Wang, Rui
  2. Have You Read This? An Empirical Comparison of the British REF Peer Review and the Italian VQR Bibliometric Algorithm By Checchi, Daniele; Ciolfi, Alberto; De Fraja, Gianni; Mazzotta, Irene; Verzillo, Stefano

  1. By: Gershenson, Seth (American University); Polikoff, Morgan S. (University of Southern California); Wang, Rui (American University)
    Abstract: As universities cut library funding and forego expensive journal subscriptions, many academic organizations and researchers, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA), are moving towards open-access publications that are freely downloadable by anyone with a working internet connection. However, the impact of paywalls on the consumption of academic articles is unclear. We provide novel evidence on this question by exploiting a natural experiment in which six high-impact, usually gated AERA journals became open access for a two-month period in 2017. Using monthly download data, and an always-open access journal as a control group, we show that making journals open access increased article downloads in those journals by 60 to 80% per month. Given a per-article download price of $36, this suggests a download elasticity of about 0.3 to 0.4.
    Keywords: open access, academic journal
    JEL: L17 O33
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan); Ciolfi, Alberto (ANVUR); De Fraja, Gianni (University of Nottingham); Mazzotta, Irene (ANVUR); Verzillo, Stefano (University of Milan)
    Abstract: This paper determines the ranking of the publications units of assessment which were submitted to the UK research evaluation carried out in 2014, the REF, which would have been obtained if their submission had been evaluated with the bibliometric algorithm used by the Italian evaluation agency, ANVUR, for its evaluation of the research of Italian universities. We find very high correlation between the two methods, especially in regard to the funding allocation, with a headline figure of 0.9997 for the funding attributed to the institutions.
    Keywords: assessment of academic research, incentives, university funding, university ranking, publications, bibliometry
    JEL: I23 I28
    Date: 2019–02

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