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How to avoid borrowed plumes in academia

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  • Osterloh, Margit
  • Frey, Bruno S.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Osterloh, Margit & Frey, Bruno S., 2020. "How to avoid borrowed plumes in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:1:s0048733319301519
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103831
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    6. Follert, Florian & Naumann, Chantal & Thieme, Lutz, 2020. "Between scientific publication and public perception: Some economic remarks on the allocation of time in science," Working Papers of the European Institute for Socioeconomics 34, European Institute for Socioeconomics (EIS), Saarbrücken.
    7. Marta Kuc-Czarnecka & Magdalena Olczyk, 2020. "How ethics combine with big data: a bibliometric analysis," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-9, December.
    8. Gabriel-Alexandru Vîiu & Mihai Păunescu, 2021. "The citation impact of articles from which authors gained monetary rewards based on journal metrics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(6), pages 4941-4974, June.
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