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Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?

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Author Info

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam; NIDI, The Hague)

  • Arjo Klamer

    ()
    (Faculty of History and Arts, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

Science is a winner-take-all profession in which only few contributions get excessive attention and the large majority of papers_new remains receives scant or no attention. This so-called ‘waste’ together with all the competitive strategies of scientists seeking attention is part and parcel of any creative profession and not a worrisome fact as the price society pays for human ingenuity is extremely small: 0.0006 percent of world income goes into the publication of scientific research. The more worrisome features of competition in academic economics reveal themselves not through ordinary citation or publication statistics or competitive attention seeking strategies. The badly designed use of market principles in which citations and publications have become the sole measuring rod of scientific ‘productivity’ deserve more attention instead of the excessive focus of attention on uncitedness as such.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 05-005/1.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20050005

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

Related research

Keywords: economic science; public good; citations; wasteful competition;

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References

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  1. van Ours, J. C. & Ridder, G., 2003. "Fast track or failure: a study of the graduation and dropout rates of Ph D students in economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 157-166, April.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1992. "The Young Economist's Guide to Professional Etiquette," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 169-179, Winter.
  3. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
  4. Thomas Mayer, 2004. "Dry Holes in Economic Research: Comment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 621-626, November.
  5. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Dominitz, Jeff & Lee Hansen, W., 1999. "Graduate training and the early career productivity of Ph.D. economists," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 65-77, February.
  6. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory," NBER Working Papers 7805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stigler, George J & Stigler, Stephen M & Friedland, Claire, 1995. "The Journals of Economics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 331-59, April.
  8. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
  9. David N. Laband & Robert D. Tollison, 2003. "Dry Holes in Economic Research," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 161-173, 05.
  10. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
  11. Arjo Klamer & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2001. "Attention and the Art of Scientific Publishing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-022/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. List, John A, et al, 2001. "Academic Economists Behaving Badly? A Survey on Three Areas of Unethical Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 162-70, January.
  13. Hendrik P. van Dalen & K�ne Henkens, 2004. "Signals in Science - On the Importance of Signaling in Gaining Attention in Science," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-113/1, Tinbergen Institute.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stremersch, S. & Verniers, I.W.J. & Verhoef, P.C., 2006. "The Quest for Citations: Drivers of Article Impact," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-061-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.

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