nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Is there a risk of APC-driven guest authorship? By Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A.
  2. Game-Theoretical Analysis of Reviewer Rewards in Peer-Review Journal Systems: Analysis and Experimental Evaluation using Deep Reinforcement Learning By Minhyeok Lee
  3. Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May By Bankovsky, Miriam

  1. By: Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A.
    Abstract: While guest or honorary authorship on academic papers is a broadly and widely discussed phenomenon in biomedical research, the issue of the use – or abuse – of article processing charges (APCs) as a form of potential authorship exchange currency, i.e., the “APC ring”, is not being discussed. The APC is central to the open access (OA) movement, specifically gold OA, including hybrid subscription models. It is conceivable that poorly-funded researchers aiming to publish in ranked (e.g., with a Clarivate journal impact factor or indexed in a major database such as Scopus) OA journals with expensive APCs (sometimes costing thousands of US dollars or Euros) might turn to richer researchers to foot the bill in exchange for authorship. Despite this, extensive web and database searches revealed no published cases on APC-for-authorship schemes as a form of guest authorship, which seems inconceivable. One possible explanation is that if such unethical behavior, and a form of fraud, were to be detected by APC-charging journals, that it might not be reported as such. Alternatively, if it has been detected as such, it might be reported (e.g., to the public) more broadly as “authorship issues” without detailing that an APC-based guest authorship scheme (i.e., “APC ring”) was involved. In such a situation, APC-dependent journals would be conflicted between receiving a financial lifeline, the APC, and exposing authors that abuse the APC in exchange for authorship. How would OA publishers justify receiving APCs derived from an “APC ring”? Although this form of guest authorship is currently hypothetical, it is also highly likely, so this issue needs greater debate. If actual case studies exist, these need to be openly and publicly debated to better appreciate how widely this phenomenon may be taking place.
    Date: 2023–05–13
  2. By: Minhyeok Lee
    Abstract: In this paper, we navigate the intricate domain of reviewer rewards in open-access academic publishing, leveraging the precision of mathematics and the strategic acumen of game theory. We conceptualize the prevailing voucher-based reviewer reward system as a two-player game, subsequently identifying potential shortcomings that may incline reviewers towards binary decisions. To address this issue, we propose and mathematically formalize an alternative reward system with the objective of mitigating this bias and promoting more comprehensive reviews. We engage in a detailed investigation of the properties and outcomes of both systems, employing rigorous game-theoretical analysis and deep reinforcement learning simulations. Our results underscore a noteworthy divergence between the two systems, with our proposed system demonstrating a more balanced decision distribution and enhanced stability. This research not only augments the mathematical understanding of reviewer reward systems, but it also provides valuable insights for the formulation of policies within journal review system. Our contribution to the mathematical community lies in providing a game-theoretical perspective to a real-world problem and in the application of deep reinforcement learning to simulate and understand this complex system.
    Date: 2023–05
  3. By: Bankovsky, Miriam
    Abstract: Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May.
    Date: 2023–05–15

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