nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Auditing the Auditors: An evaluation of the REF2021 Output Results By Linton, O. B.; Xu, E.
  2. Scientific rewards for biomedical specialization are large and persistent By Gaetan de Rassenfosse; Kyle Higham; Orion Penner
  3. Who Stands on the Shoulders of Chinese (Scientific) Giants? Evidence from Chemistry By Shumin Qiu; Claudia Steinwender; Pierre Azoulay
  4. The Translation of Uniformity or a Sociology of Knowledge — Issues of Publishing Ethics in the 21st Century By Pachankis, Yang

  1. By: Linton, O. B.; Xu, E.
    Abstract: We apply the Hole algorithm to evaluate the REF2021 output quality exercise. We find that the implied journal ranking agrees quite closely with the ABS-SCOB journal ranking, and in particular the GPA’s agree with a 91% correlation.
    Keywords: Journal quality, Ranking, Research funding
    JEL: A10
    Date: 2022–11–08
  2. By: Gaetan de Rassenfosse (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne); Kyle Higham (Hitotsubashi University); Orion Penner (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)
    Abstract: While specialization plays an essential role in how scientific research is pursued, we understand little about its effects on a researcher’s impact and career. In particular, the extent to which one specializes within their chosen fields likely has complex relationships with productivity, career stage, and eventual impact. We develop a novel and fine-grained approach for measuring a researcher’s level of specialization at each point in their career and apply it to the publication data of almost 30, 000 established biomedical researchers. Using a within-researcher, panel-based econometric framework, we arrive at several important results. First, there are significant returns to specialization—25% more citations per standard deviation increase in specialization. Second, these returns are much higher early in a researcher’s career—as large as 75% per standard deviation increase in specialization. Third, returns are higher for researchers who publish few papers relative to their peers. Finally, we find that, all else equal, researchers who make large changes in their research direction see generally increased impact. The extent to which one specializes, particularly at early stages of a biomedical research career, appears to play a significant role in determining the citation-based impact of their publications. When this measure of impact is, implicitly or explicitly, an input into decisionmaking processes within the scientific system (for example, for job opportunities, promotions, or invited talks), these findings lead to some important implications for the system-level organisation of scientific research and the incentives that exist therein. We propose several mechanisms within modern scientific systems that likely lead to the returns we observe and discuss them within the broader context of reward structures in biomedicine and science more generally.
    Keywords: scientific specialization; scientific impact; scientific careers; science of science; bibliometrics; research systems
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Shumin Qiu; Claudia Steinwender; Pierre Azoulay
    Abstract: In recent decades, Chinese researchers have become preeminent contributors to the scientific enterprise, as reflected by the number of publications originating from Chinese research institutions. China's rise in science has the potential to push forward the global frontier, but mere production of knowledge does not guarantee that others are able to build on it. In this manuscript, we study how fertile Chinese research is, as measured by citations. Using publication and citation data for elite Chemistry researchers, we show that Chinese authored articles receive only half the citations from the US compared to articles from other countries. We show that even after carefully controlling for the "quality" of Chinese research, Chinese PIs' articles receive 28% fewer citations from US researchers. Our results imply that US researchers do not build as readily on the work of Chinese researchers, relative to the work of other foreign scientists, even in a setting where Chinese scientists have long excelled.
    JEL: I23 O30 O53
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Pachankis, Yang
    Abstract: The research adheres to a sociology of knowledge doctrine in academic publishing, and study the irregularities in scientific publishing. It takes the perspective in modern science, with an analytic perspective to the Chinese cultural anthropology. The research empirically studied the grey-area publication surrogacy industry originated from PRC, with its relations to the national governmental funding structures in economics & finance. The research started upon the notice of degree vacancy trading and dissertation sales in PRC, where impositions on specific journal targeting for faculties and ideological correctness for students apply institutionally, and armed forces departments are instituted in almost all major universities. The method takes a step aback on the foundation of modern science and the scientific method that may address the complexities of the issues in a relatively simplistic manner. The results suggest that science doesn’t depend on language, even though language is a constituent in sociology. The sociology of knowledge is purposed to communicate scientific knowledge, regardless of the philosophical debates. Power political meta-languages may be signs for caution, and the realpolitik disruptions to the sociology of knowledge are present. The economics of knowledge ought not to be manipulated by power political & realpolitik top-down designs and scientometrics in the informatics age need humanitarian cautions.
    Keywords: ideology, knowledge economy, knowledge industry, science financing, science management, scientometrics
    JEL: A11 A12 A13 C44 D46 D63 D73 D74 D80 D83 E26 E58 L41
    Date: 2022–12–19

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