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The Social Science Citation Index: A Black Box—with an Ideological Bias?

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  • Daniel B. Klein
  • Eric Chiang

Abstract

In figuring eminence in the social sciences, the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) is of great importance. Yet the SSCI selection process is a black box. Scrutiny of the SSCI journal list reveals that the stated SSCI journal selection criteria are vague and applied inconsistently. The Nation, The New Republic, and many other periodicals that fail to meet most conditions said to be a criterion for inclusion are nonetheless included in the SSCI. I investigate whether the process and resultant list are, not merely inconsistent, but ideologically biased. Although it is impossible to determine with great confidence whether there is an ideological bias, I present a variety of evidence of bias in favor of journals of a social democratic orientation and against journals of a classical liberal orientation.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel B. Klein & Eric Chiang, 2004. "The Social Science Citation Index: A Black Box—with an Ideological Bias?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 134-165, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:1:y:2004:i:1:p:134-165
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David N. Laband & Robert D. Tollison, 2003. "Dry Holes in Economic Research," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 161-173, May.
    2. Randall G. Holcombe, 2004. "The National Research Council Ranking of Research Universities: Its Impact on Research in Economics," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(3), pages 498-514, December.
    3. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 460-501, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jens Prüfer & David Zetland, 2010. "An auction market for journal articles," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 379-403, December.
    2. Justus Haucap & Michael Mödl, 2013. "Zum Verhältnis von Spitzenforschung und Politikberatung: Eine empirische Analyse vor dem Hintergrund des Ökonomenstreits," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(3-4), pages 346-378, August.
    3. Moussa, Salim & Touzani, Mourad, 2010. "Ranking marketing journals using the Google Scholar-based hg-index," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 107-117.
    4. Matthias Meyer & Rüdiger W. Waldkirch & Michael A. Zaggl, 2012. "Relative Performance Measurement of Researchers: The Impact of Data Source Selection," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 64(4), pages 308-330, October.
    5. Howlett, Peter, 2008. "Travelling in the social science community: assessing the impact of the Indian Green Revolution across disciplines," Economic History Working Papers 22513, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    6. Michael J. Hilmer & Michael R. Ransom & Christiana E. Hilmer, 2015. "Fame and the fortune of academic economists: How the market rewards influential research in economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 430-452, October.
    7. Robert Whaples, 2006. "The Costs of Critical Commentary in Economics Journals," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(2), pages 275-282, May.
    8. Joseph Macri & Dipendra Sinha, 2006. "Rankings Methodology for International Comparisons of Institutions and Individuals: an Application to Economics in Australia and New Zealand," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 111-156, February.
    9. Yalcintas, Altug, 2013. "The Oomph in economic philosophy: a bibliometric analysis of the main trends, from the 1960s to the present," MPRA Paper 44191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1666-1680 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Science Citation Index; citation count; bias; ideological orientation;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

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