Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors
Journal editors who publish papers authored by colleagues and former graduate students have been charged with practicing favoritism, with the implication that the papers in question are of lower quality than those written by scholars with no ties to the editor. Using citation analysis, the authors find strong evidence that although journal editors occasionally publish subpar papers authored by colleagues and former graduate students, on balance their use of professional connections enables them to identify and 'capture' high-impact papers for publication. This implies that a practice interpreted as favoritism by many scholars in fact serves to enhance efficiency in the market for scientific knowledge. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.
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