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Quantitative and Qualitative Rankings of Scholars

  • Katja Rost
  • Bruno S. Frey

In a former article we started to argue that publication and citation rankings of individual scholars do not effectively measure research quality, which should in fact be the essence of evaluation (Frey and Rost (2010)). For the field of economics we show that an alternative ranking based on membership on academic editorial boards of professional journals is randomly correlated with citation and publication rankings of these scholars. In this article we go a step further by hypothesizing a systematic, inverted U-shaped relationship between quantitative and qualitative rankings. By relying on a longitudinal data set of management scholars who are part of the international topcommunity in organization science the findings support this multi-tasking effect. While a certain amount of publications indeed reflects aspects of research quality, it also suggests that maximizing publications ignores other essential aspects of research quality that are doubtlessly hard to measure. It follows that if career decisions are only based on high scores in publication rankings the result will be not only haphazard but may be even counterproductive for science.

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Article provided by LMU Munich School of Management in its journal Schmalenbach Business Review.

Volume (Year): 63 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 63-91

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Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:63:y:2011:i:1:p:63-91
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