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Signals in Science - On the Importance of Signaling in Gaining Attention in Science

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Author Info

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • K�ne Henkens

    ()
    (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague)

Abstract

Which signals are important in gaining attention in science? For a group of 1,371 scientific articles published in 17 demography journals in the years 1990-1992 we track their influence and discern which signals are important in receiving citations. Three types of signals are examined: the author’s reputation (as producer of the idea), the journal (as the broker of the idea), and the state of uncitedness (as an indication of the assessment by the scientific community of an idea). The empirical analysis points out that, first, the reputation of journals plays an overriding role in gaining attention in science. Second, in contrast to common wisdom, the state of uncitedness does not affect the future probability of being cited. And third, the reputation of a journal may help to get late recognition (so-called ‘sleeping beauties’) as well as generate so-called ‘flash-in-the-pans’: immediately noted articles but apparently not very influential in the long run.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-113/1.

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Date of creation: 26 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040113

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: signaling; duration dependence; journals; impact; citations;

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References

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  1. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
  2. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
  3. Arjo Klamer & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2001. "Attention and the Art of Scientific Publishing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-022/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Siow, Aloysius, 1997. "Some evidence on the signalling role of research in academia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 271-276, July.
  5. David N. Laband & Robert D. Tollison, 2003. "Dry Holes in Economic Research," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 161-173, 05.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  7. Hendrik P. Dalen & Kène Henkens, 1999. "How Influential Are Demography Journals?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 229-251.
  8. Laband, David N, 1990. "Is There Value-Added from the Review Process in Economics? Preliminary Evidence from Authors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 341-52, May.
  9. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Kene Henkens, 2000. "What makes a Scientific Article influential?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-032/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Squazzoni, Flaminio & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Takács, Károly, 2013. "Does incentive provision increase the quality of peer review? An experimental study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 287-294.

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