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How to avoid borrowed plumes in academia

Margit Osterloh and Bruno Frey ()

Research Policy, 2020, vol. 49, issue 1

Abstract: Publications in top journals today have a powerful influence on academic careers although there is much criticism of using journal rankings to evaluate individual articles. We ask why this practice of performance evaluation is still so influential. We suggest this is the case because a majority of authors benefit from the present system due to the extreme skewness of citation distributions. “Performance paradox” effects aggravate the problem. Three extant suggestions for reforming performance management are critically discussed. We advance a new proposal based on the insight that fundamental uncertainty is symptomatic for scholarly work. It suggests focal randomization using a rationally founded and well-orchestrated procedure.

Keywords: Journal rankings; Impact factor; Journal quality lists; Skewed citation distribution; Focal random selection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:1:s0048733319301519

DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103831

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