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

  • Daniel B. Klein
  • Eric Chiang

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.

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Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 1 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 134-165

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:1:y:2004:i:1:p:134-165
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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, 05.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2001. "Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2001-8, Nobel Prize Committee.
  3. 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.
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