nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. A "Trojan Horse" in the peer-review process of fee-charging economic journals By Rocco Caferra; Roberto Dell'Anno; Andrea Morone
  2. Leaders among the leaders in Economics: A network analysis of the Nobel Prize laureates By Molina, José Alberto; Iñiguez, David; Ruiz, Gonzalo; Tarancón, Alfonso
  3. Concentration of Danish research funding on individual researchers and research topics: Patterns and potential drivers By Madsen, Emil Bargmann; Aagaard, Kaare

  1. By: Rocco Caferra; Roberto Dell'Anno; Andrea Morone
    Abstract: This paper aims to unmask the inadequacy of the review process of a sample of fee-charging journals in economics. We submitted a bait-manuscript to 104 academic economic journals to test whether there is a difference in the peer-review process between Article Processing Charges (APC) journals and Traditional journals which do not require a publication fee. The submitted bait-article was based on completely made-up data, with evident errors in terms of methodology, literature, reporting of results, and quality of language. Nevertheless, about half of the APC journals fell in the trap. Their editors accepted the article in the journals and required to pay the publication fee. We conclude that the Traditional model has a more effective incentive-mechanism in selecting articles, based on quality standards. Otherwise, we confirm that the so-called "Predatory Journals" - i.e. academic journals which accept papers without a quality check - exploit the APC scheme to increase their profits. They are also able to enter whitelists (e.g. Scopus, COPE). Accordingly, poor-quality articles published on APC journals shed the lights on the weakness of methodologies based on a mechanical inclusion of academic journals in scientific database indexes, succeeding in being considered for bibliometric evaluations of research institutions or scholars' productivity.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Molina, José Alberto; Iñiguez, David; Ruiz, Gonzalo; Tarancón, Alfonso
    Abstract: We analyse the production and networks of Nobel laureates in Economics, employing the Normalized Impact Factor (NIF) of their publications in the Journal of Citation Report (Economics), to identify the academic leaders among those laureates awarded between 1969 and 2016. Our results indicate that direct collaborations among laureates are, in general, rare, but when we add all the co-authors of the laureates, there appears a very large component containing 70% of the nodes, so that more than two thirds of the laureates can be connected through only two steps. Deaton, Tirole, Arrow, and Stiglitz are identified as leaders according to the total production of their respective networks.
    Keywords: Nobel prize,Economics,Impact factor,Research production,Complex networks
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Madsen, Emil Bargmann; Aagaard, Kaare
    Abstract: The degree of concentration in research funding has long been a principal matter of contention in science policy. Strong concentration has been seen as both a tool for optimizing and focusing research investments, but also as a damaging path towards hypercompetition, lacking diversity and conservative research topic selection. While several studies have documented high funding concentration linked to individual funding organisations, few have looked at funding concentration from a systemic perspective. In this article, we examine nearly 20,000 competitive grants allocated by fifteen major Danish research funders. Our results show a strongly skewed allocation of funding towards a small elite of individual researchers, and toward a very select group of research areas and topics. We discuss several potential drivers, and highlight that strong funding concentrations likely result from a complex interplay between funders’ overlapping priorities, excellence-dominated evaluation criteria, and lack of coordination between both public and private research funding bodies.
    Date: 2020–04–27

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