nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒25
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström, Axventure AB

  1. The X Factor: Open Access, New Journals, and Incumbent Competitors By W Benedikt Schmal
  2. Unpacking P-Hacking and Publication Bias By Abel Brodeur; Scott E. Carrell; David N. Figlio; Lester R. Lusher
  3. Survey of open science practices and attitudes in the social sciences. By Ferguson, Joel; Littman, Rebecca; Christensen, Garret; Paluck, Elizabeth; Swanson, Nicholas; Wang, Zenan; Miguel, Edward; Birke, David; Pezzuto, John-Henry
  4. Do Replications Make a Difference? By Tom Coupé; W. Robert Reed
  5. Against predatory publishing: the IAP report results By Minh Ha-Duong

  1. By: W Benedikt Schmal
    Abstract: The academic publishing market is considerable in its size, its highly oligopolistic structure, and the profits it extracts from researchers and their institutions. In this paper, I evaluate whether a citation advantage exists for open-access publications and whether new market entrants suffer from less recognition. To do so, I exploit a quasi-causal setting created by Elsevier. In 2019, the publisher launched its ‘X journals:’ Relying on the editorial process of their ‘parent journals, ’ X journals were the fully open-access derivatives of established outlets. In parallel, Elsevier continued to offer authors an open-access option for their publications within the established outlets. Exploiting this threefold variation, I cannot detect any impact of open access on citations within the incumbent journals. However, a large and adverse effect exists for the novel journals. This ‘X factor’ represents a nonnegligible entry barrier for potential competitors in the publishing market. One potential way to mitigate this can be strict open-access requirements for publications supported by grants. My findings highlight the challenges on the way to more open access and stronger competition in the academic publishing market.
    Keywords: Open Access, Elsevier, Citations, Mirror Journals, Grants, Transformative Agreements, Economics of Publishing, Market Entry
    Date: 2023–08–22
  2. By: Abel Brodeur; Scott E. Carrell; David N. Figlio; Lester R. Lusher
    Abstract: We use unique data from journal submissions to identify and unpack publication bias and p-hacking. We find that initial submissions display significant bunching, suggesting the distribution among published statistics cannot be fully attributed to a publication bias in peer review. Desk-rejected manuscripts display greater heaping than those sent for review i.e. marginally significant results are more likely to be desk rejected. Reviewer recommendations, in contrast, are positively associated with statistical significance. Overall, the peer review process has little effect on the distribution of test statistics. Lastly, we track rejected papers and present evidence that the prevalence of publication biases is perhaps not as prominent as feared.
    JEL: A0
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Ferguson, Joel; Littman, Rebecca; Christensen, Garret; Paluck, Elizabeth; Swanson, Nicholas; Wang, Zenan; Miguel, Edward; Birke, David; Pezzuto, John-Henry
    Abstract: Open science practices such as posting data or code and pre-registering analyses are increasingly prescribed and debated in the applied sciences, but the actual popularity and lifetime usage of these practices remain unknown. This study provides an assessment of attitudes toward, use of, and perceived norms regarding open science practices from a sample of authors published in top-10 (most-cited) journals and PhD students in top-20 ranked North American departments from four major social science disciplines: economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. We observe largely favorable private attitudes toward widespread lifetime usage (meaning that a researcher has used a particular practice at least once) of open science practices. As of 2020, nearly 90% of scholars had ever used at least one such practice. Support for posting data or code online is higher (88% overall support and nearly at the ceiling in some fields) than support for pre-registration (58% overall). With respect to norms, there is evidence that the scholars in our sample appear to underestimate the use of open science practices in their field. We also document that the reported lifetime prevalence of open science practices increased from 49% in 2010 to 87% a decade later.
    Keywords: Humans, Social Sciences, Politics, Research Personnel, Students, Attitude
    Date: 2023–09–05
  4. By: Tom Coupé (University of Canterbury); W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of negative replications on the citation rates of replicated studies. It makes three contributions. First, we explain why previous research has not adequately addressed this subject. Second, we develop a matched difference-in-difference (DID) procedure that does not assume parallel trends (PT). Previous research has shown that studies that fail to replicate have different trends prior to replication than studies that successfully replicate. Given this difference, imposing the assumption of PT biases estimation of citation effects. Our DID procedure avoids this bias. Lastly, we study a set of 204 replicated studies and investigate whether there is a citation penalty associated with negative replications. Replicated studies are matched with non-replicated studies, with the matched controls being used to “predict” the counterfactual citation performance of replicated studies. Our preferred estimates indicate that studies that fail to replicate receive more citations than studies that have positive or mixed replications. Our less preferred estimates, based on looser matching criteria, find evidence of a citation penalty for negative replications, but the estimated effects are small and statistically insignificant. We conclude that replications have not been correcting the scientific record in the manner that proponents might have hoped.
    Keywords: Replications, Citations, Matching, Meta-science, Self-correcting science
    JEL: A11 A14 B41 C18
    Date: 2023–08–01
  5. By: Minh Ha-Duong (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The problem of predatory academic publishing is that many journals and conferences pretend to have scientific standards but, in reality, have only financial motivations. They will publish anything as long as the author pays for it. Too many researchers, under the pressure of "publish or perish, "
    Date: 2023–05–19

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