Peer review versus citations – An analysis of best paper prizes
In this paper, I analyze the ‘best paper’ prizes given by economics and finance journals to the best article published in their journal in a given year. More specifically, I compare the citations received by best paper prize-winning papers to citations received by papers that are awarded runner up prizes and to citations received by non-winning papers. In this way, I evaluate to what extent evaluation outcomes based on peer review correspond to evaluation outcomes based on citation counts. The data show that the paper that gets the ‘best paper’ prize, is rarely the most cited paper; is, in a small majority of cases, cited more than the runner up papers and is, in most cases, cited more than the median paper. I also explore whether characteristics of the prizes or the papers correlate with this difference in outcomes between peer review and citation counts and find there is no easy way to reduce the difference in outcomes between these two evaluation methods
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