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Signals in science - On the importance of signaling in gaining attention in science

Author

Listed:
  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Department of Economics, SEOR-ECRI and Tinbergen Institute (Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI))

  • K?ne Henkens

    (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI))

Abstract

Summary Which signals are important in gaining attention in science? For a group of 1,371 scientific articles published in 17 demography journals in the years 1990-1992 we track their influence and discern which signals are important in receiving citations. Three types of signals are examined: the author's reputation (as producer of the idea), the journal (as the broker of the idea), and the state of uncitedness (as an indication of the assessment by the scientific community of an idea). The empirical analysis points out that, first, the reputation of journals plays an overriding role in gaining attention in science. Second, in contrast to common wisdom, the state of uncitedness does not affect the future probability of being cited. And third, the reputation of a journal may help to get late recognition (so-called sleeping beauties) as well as generate 'flash-in-the-pans': immediately noted articles but apparently not very influential in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen & K?ne Henkens, 2005. "Signals in science - On the importance of signaling in gaining attention in science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 64(2), pages 209-233, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:64:y:2005:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-005-0248-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-005-0248-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arjo Klamer & Hendrik van Dalen, 2001. "Attention and the art of scientific publishing," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 289-315.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
    3. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Kene Henkens, 2000. "What makes a Scientific Article influential?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-032/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Hendrik P. Dalen & Kène Henkens, 1999. "How Influential Are Demography Journals?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 229-251.
    5. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
    6. David N. Laband, 1990. "Is There Value-Added from the Review Process in Economics?: Preliminary Evidence from Authors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 341-352.
    7. Siow, Aloysius, 1997. "Some evidence on the signalling role of research in academia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 271-276, July.
    8. Frey, Bruno S, 2003. "Publishing as Prostitution?--Choosing between One's Own Ideas and Academic Success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 205-223, July.
    9. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Squazzoni, Flaminio & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Takács, Károly, 2013. "Does incentive provision increase the quality of peer review? An experimental study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 287-294.
    2. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is Science A Case of Wasteful Competition?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 395-414, July.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:89:y:2011:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0456-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:78:y:2009:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1927-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Didegah, Fereshteh & Thelwall, Mike, 2013. "Which factors help authors produce the highest impact research? Collaboration, journal and document properties," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 861-873.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:77:y:2008:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1946-y is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:93:y:2012:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0766-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2433-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1279-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:94:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0789-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Li, Jiang & Shi, Dongbo & Zhao, Star X. & Ye, Fred Y., 2014. "A study of the “heartbeat spectra” for “sleeping beauties”," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 493-502.
    12. repec:eee:crpeac:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:24-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0366-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1115-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spr:scient:v:89:y:2011:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0436-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:spr:scient:v:100:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1217-z is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. David Michayluk & Ralf Zurbruegg, 2014. "Do lead articles signal higher quality in the digital age? Evidence from finance journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 98(2), pages 961-973, February.
    19. repec:spr:scient:v:97:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-0986-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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