nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström, Axventure AB

  1. Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Accused Scientists, and Their Research By Rainer Widmann; Michael E. Rose; Marina Chugunova
  2. A Toolbox to Evaluate the Trustworthiness of Published Findings By Adler, Susanne Jana; Röseler, Lukas; Schöniger, Martina Katharina
  3. Author Country of Origin and Attention on Open Science Platforms: Evidence from COVID-19 Preprints By Caroline Fry; Megan MacGarvie
  4. Why Has Science Become an Old Man's Game? By Fons-Rosen, Christian; Gaule, Patrick; Hrendash, Taras

  1. By: Rainer Widmann (MPI-IC); Michael E. Rose (MPI-IC); Marina Chugunova (MPI-IC)
    Abstract: Does the scientific community sanction sexual misconduct? Using a sample of scientists accused of sexual misconduct at US universities, we find that their prior work is cited less after allegations surface. The effect weakens with distance in the coauthorship network, indicating that researchers learn about allegations through their peers. Among the closest peers, male authors react more strongly, suggesting that they feel a greater need to disassociate themselves from the accused. In male-dominated fields, the effects on citations are more muted. Accused scientists are more likely to leave academic research, to move to non-university institutions, and to publish less.
    Keywords: sexual misconduct; scientific community; scientific impact;
    JEL: J16 M14 I23 K4
    Date: 2023–08–21
  2. By: Adler, Susanne Jana (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich); Röseler, Lukas (University of Bamberg); Schöniger, Martina Katharina
    Abstract: During the past few years, researchers have criticized their professions for providing an entry point for false-positive results arising from publication bias and questionable research practices such as p-hacking (i.e., selectively reporting analyses that yield a p-value below 5 %). Researchers are advocating replication studies and the implementation of open-science practices, like preregistration, in order to identify trustworthy effects. Nevertheless, because such consumer research developments are still emerging, most prior research findings have not been replicated, leaving researchers in the dark as to whether a line of research or a particular effect is trustworthy. We tackle this problem by providing a toolbox containing multiple heuristics to identify data patterns that might, from the information provided in published articles, indicate publication bias and p-hacking. Our toolbox is an easy-to-use instrument with which to initially assess a given set of findings.
    Date: 2023–07–29
  3. By: Caroline Fry; Megan MacGarvie
    Abstract: Online platforms such as preprint servers have become an important way to disseminate new scientific knowledge prior to peer review. However, little is known about how attention to preprints may vary across authors from different countries of origin, particularly relative to evaluation in expert-controlled systems such as scientific journals. This study explores how readers allocated attention across preprints in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when there was an increase in demand for new research and a corresponding increase in the use of preprint platforms around the world. We find that, after controlling carefully for article quality and topic as well as the prominence of the preprint’s ultimate publication outlet, preprints with authors from Chinese institutions receive less attention, and preprints with authors from U.S. institutions receive more attention, than preprints with authors from the rest of the world. In an exploration of potential mechanisms driving the observed effects, we find evidence that when evaluation is more constrained, in terms of lack of knowledge or expertise and increase in time pressure, audiences tend to make greater use of preprint authors’ country of origin as a proxy for quality or relevance. The results suggest that geographic biases may persist or even be exacerbated on platforms designed to promote unfettered access to early research findings.
    JEL: O31 O33 O36
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Fons-Rosen, Christian (University of California, Merced); Gaule, Patrick (University of Bristol); Hrendash, Taras (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: We investigate the causes and consequences of the aging of the scientific workforce. Using novel data on the population of US chemistry faculty members over fifty years, we find that the secular increase in the age of the academic workforce has been mainly driven by the slowdown in faculty hiring combined with later retirements. By contrast, changes in the age at which scientists start their careers only contribute to about 20% of aging. Hiring more new faculty members could rejuvenate the scientific workforce and boost scientific productivity.
    Keywords: aging, science, universities, knowledge production
    JEL: O31 J24 J26
    Date: 2023–08

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