nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒11‒18
eleven papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Sniff Tests in Economics: Aggregate Distribution of Their Probability Values and Implications for Publication Bias By Snyder, Christopher; Zhuo, Ran
  2. Does Data Disclosure Increase Citations? Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Leading Economics Journals By Mark J. McCabe; Frank Mueller-Langer
  3. Open Science in Africa – Challenges, Opportunities and Perspectives By Ahinon, Justin Sègbédji; Havemann, Johanna
  4. Publication Bias and Editorial Statement on Negative Findings By Brodeur, Abel; Blanco-Perez, Cristina
  5. Blind manuscript submission to reduce rejection bias By Moustafa, Khaled
  6. Publishers: save authors time By Moustafa, Khaled
  7. Open access, open business, closed fairness! By Moustafa, Khaled
  8. Does the cover letter really matter? By Moustafa, Khaled
  9. Identification of and correction for publication bias By Kasy, Maximilian; Andrews, Isaiah
  10. Peer review: either open it fully or blind it wholly By Moustafa, Khaled
  11. Don't fall in common science pitfall! By Moustafa, Khaled

  1. By: Snyder, Christopher; Zhuo, Ran
    Abstract: The increasing demand for rigor in empirical economics has led to the growing use of auxiliary tests (balance, specification, over-identification, placebo, etc.) supporting the credibility of a paper’s main results. We dub these “sniff tests” because standards for passing are subjective and rejection is bad news for the author. Sniff tests offer a new window into publication bias since authors prefer them to be insignificant, the reverse of standard statistical tests. Collecting a sample of nearly 30,000 sniff tests across 60 economics journals, we provide the first estimate of their aggregate probability-value (p-value) distribution. For the subsample of balance tests in randomized controlled trials (for which the distribution of p-values is known to be uniform absent publication bias, allowing reduced-form methods to be employed) estimates suggest that 45% of failed tests remain in the “file drawer” rather than being published. For the remaining sample with an unknown distribution of p-values, structural estimates suggest an even larger file-drawer problem, as high as 91%. Fewer significant sniff tests show up in top-tier journals, smaller tables, and more recent articles. We find no evidence of author manipulation other than a tendency to overly attribute significant sniff tests to bad luck.
    Date: 2018–11–30
  2. By: Mark J. McCabe (Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA); Frank Mueller-Langer (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Does data disclosure have an impact on citations? Four leading economics journals introduced a data disclosure policy between 2004 and 2006. We use panel data consisting of 17,135 article citing-year observations from 1996 to 2015 for articles published in these journals. Empirical articles that did not disclose data (46% of the sample) serve as a control group. Evidence for a positive open data citation effect is weak (6% and not statistically significant). On the other hand, the citation impacts of publication are substantial and precisely estimated. Pure theory, hybrid and purely empirical articles enjoy citations benefits of 22%, 32% and 44%, respectively. Our pre- and post-publication citation data allow us to identify the citation effects of data disclosure and publication, while controlling for intrinsic article quality.
    Keywords: Data disclosure, diffusion of knowledge, natural experiment, panel data
    JEL: L17 O33 C80 L59
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Ahinon, Justin Sègbédji; Havemann, Johanna
    Abstract: Open Science is becoming increasingly popular globally and provides unprecedented opportunities for scientists in Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America. African scientists face several difficulties when attempting to get their work published in peer reviewed journals -there is a small number of publication platforms, a lack of knowledge and access difficulties related to existing journals, whose visibility on the web is not very good (Piron et al., 2017). There are also obstacles related to the functioning of the journals themselves (notably the duration of the revision process and the cost of publications) and the result is that science and scholarly publishing are often perceived as a prerogative of the Northern countries. The methods and techniques (including the peer review process) that are being developed for its dissemination are not necessarily adapted to the contexts of other regions of the world, including Africa. Indeed, many African-based peer-reviewed scholarly journals are unable to host their content online due to resource limitations and the digital divide (Agaba et al., 2004). In this article, we provide an overview of the most important initiatives and actors in the Open Science movement in Africa. We further identify three major challenges for Open Science on the African continent and offer perspectives for African researchers to actively contribute to the global scientific community and share knowledge to meet the challenges we all face. Résumé Le mouvement de la Science Ouverte est de plus en plus populaire dans le monde et offre des opportunités sans précédent aux scientifiques en Afrique, en Asie du Sud-Est et en Amérique latine. Les scientifiques africains font face à plusieurs difficultés lorsqu'ils tentent de faire publier leurs travaux dans des revues évaluées par des pairs - il existe en effet un petit nombre de plateformes de publication, un manque de connaissances et des difficultés d'accès liées aux revues existantes, dont la visibilité sur le Web n'est pas très bonne (Piron et al., 2017). Il y a aussi des obstacles liés au fonctionnement des revues elles-mêmes (notamment la durée du processus de révision et le coût des publications) ; il en résulte donc que la science et la publication scientifique sont souvent perçues comme une prérogative des pays du Nord. Les méthodes et techniques (y compris le processus d'examen par les pairs) qui sont mises au point pour sa diffusion ne sont pas nécessairement adaptées au contexte d'autres régions du monde, dont l'Afrique. En effet, de nombreuses revues savantes africaines évaluées par des pairs ne sont pas en mesure d'héberger leur contenu en ligne en raison des ressources limitées dont elles disposent et de la fracture numérique (Agaba et al., 2004). Dans cet article, nous fournissons un aperçu des initiatives et des acteurs les plus importants du mouvement de la Science Ouverte en Afrique. Nous identifions en outre trois défis majeurs pour la Science Ouverte sur le continent africain et présentons des perspectives pour les chercheurs africains pour contribuer activement à la communauté scientifique mondiale et partager les connaissances afin relever les défis auxquels nous sommes tous confrontés. Lakotan Imọ Imọ ti wa ni agbaye ti o gbajumo julọ ni agbaye ati pese awọn anfani ti ko dara fun awọn onimo ijinlẹ sayensi ni Afirika, Ila-oorun Iwọ-oorun ati Latin America. Awọn onimo ijinle sayensi Afirika doju ọpọlọpọ awọn iṣoro nigba ti igbiyanju lati gba iṣẹ wọn jade ni awọn iwe-akọọlẹ ti a pejọ - eyiti o jẹ nọmba kekere ti awọn ipilẹ iwe, ailopin ìmọ ati awọn iṣoro wiwọle ti o nii ṣe pẹlu awọn iwe iroyin ti o wa tẹlẹ, ti hihan lori aaye ayelujara ko dara (Piron et al., 2017). Awọn idiwọ tunmọ si iṣẹ-ṣiṣe ti awọn iwe irohin ara wọn (paapaa iye akoko atunyẹwo ati iye owo awọn iwe) ati idajade ni pe awọn iwe-ẹkọ imọ-sayensi ati awọn iwe-ẹkọ ni a maa n ri bi idibajẹ ti awọn orilẹ-ede Ariwa. Awọn ọna ati awọn imọran (pẹlu ilana atunyẹwo ẹlẹgbẹ) ti a ti ni idagbasoke fun ifitonileti rẹ ko ni dandan ni ibamu si awọn apejuwe awọn agbegbe miiran ti aye, pẹlu Africa. Nitootọ, ọpọlọpọ awọn iwe-iwe iwe-ẹkọ ti o ṣe ayẹwo ti awọn oniye-ede Afirika ko le ṣe alabojuto awọn akoonu lori ayelujara nitori awọn idiwọn awọn ohun elo ati pinpin oni-nọmba (Agaba et al., 2004). Ninu àpilẹkọ yii, a pese akopọ ti awọn eto pataki ati awọn olukopa ti o wa ni Open Science Movement ni Afirika. A tun ṣe idaniloju awọn italaya pataki mẹta fun Imọ Imọ lori ile Afirika ati ki o funni ni awọn ifọkansi fun awọn oluwadi ile Afirika lati ṣe alabapin si awujọ ijinlẹ agbaye ni agbaye ati pinpin imọ lati ba awọn ipenija ti gbogbo wa pade.
    Date: 2018–11–20
  4. By: Brodeur, Abel; Blanco-Perez, Cristina
    Abstract: In February 2015, the editors of eight health economics journals sent out an editorial statement which aims to reduce the incentives to engage in specification searching and reminds referees to accept studies that: "have potential scientific and publication merit regardless of whether such studies' empirical findings do or do not reject null hypotheses that may be specified." In this study, we collect z-statistics from two health economics journals and compare the distribution of tests before and after the editorial statement. Our results suggest that the editorial statement decreased the proportion of test statistics rejecting the null hypothesis and that incentives may be aligned to promote more transparent research.
    Date: 2017–11–28
  5. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: High percentages of submitted papers are rejected at editorial levels without offering a second chance to authors by sending their papers for further peer-reviews. In most cases, the rejections are typical quick answers without helpful argumentation related to the content of the rejected material. More surprisingly, some journals vaunt their high rejection rates as a ‘‘mark of prestige’’!
    Date: 2018–07–06
  6. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: Scientific journals ask authors to put their manuscripts, at the submission stage, sometimes in a complex style and a specific pagination format that are time consuming while it is unclear yet that the submitted manuscripts will be accepted. In the case of rejections, authors need to submit to another journal most likely with a different style and formatting that require additional work and time. To save authors' time, publishers should allow authors to submit their manuscripts in any format and to comply with the style required by the targeted journal only in revised versions, but not at the submission step when the manuscripts are not yet approved for publication.
    Date: 2018–07–06
  7. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: A strong trend to move from print to online publication is largely perceived in scientific and nonscientific fields. A growing number of publishers increasingly opt for online publication as an option or a compulsory alternative. From readers' perspective, this is a highly appreciated facility, but from the author's, things are different mainly because of excessive article processing charges (APC) that make the open access system sometimes as a hindrance for many authors but a lucrative enterprise for many shareholders, enticing the most traditional and conservative publishers.
    Date: 2018–07–13
  8. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: The cover letter is not the main text destined to be evaluated or published in scientific papers. The content of the cover letter is already overlapped and redundant with the article abstract. Cover letters look like the ‘misleading’ commercial ads; as good or as bad as they might be, they do not change the inherent value of the advertised product. The significance of a manuscript should be manifest in the 200–300 words of its abstract and along the manuscript as a whole. The aim of cover letter to impress editors, recruiters or hiring managers, would give only a false and ephemeral impression because the veritable, lasting, impression is that ulterior impression related to the innate value of the candidate (or the manuscript), not from a cover letter that ends in the trash.
    Date: 2018–07–06
  9. By: Kasy, Maximilian; Andrews, Isaiah
    Abstract: Some empirical results are more likely to be published than others. Selective publication leads to biased estimates and distorted inference. We propose two approaches for identifying the conditional probability of publication as a function of a study’s results, the first based on systematic replication studies and the second on meta-studies. For known conditional publication probabilities, we propose bias-corrected estimators and confidence sets. We apply our methods to recent replication studies in experimental economics and psychology, and to a meta-study on the effect of the minimum wage. When replication and meta-study data are available, we find similar results from both.
    Date: 2018–11–28
  10. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: Peer review: open it fully or blind it wholly
    Date: 2018–07–06
  11. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: The fundamental mission of science in providing knowledge and guidance for solving current and future challenges seems to be changing at accelerated pace, undoubtedly as a result of other economical, technological, and social deep changes. The trend is easily noticeable from an objective and neutral field toward an open, large, and unmerciful business market with many subjective and biased criteria for funding, hiring, promotion, and unscrupulous conducts in many cases. Due to a rubbish “publish-or-perish” mantra, the absence of ethical rules or the ignorance of their existence in a work environment, some scientists weave a kind of intentional or unintentional “tricks” to their way to do or to report science.
    Date: 2018–07–06

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