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Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?

Author

Listed:
  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    () (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam; NIDI, The Hague)

  • Arjo Klamer

    () (Faculty of History and Arts, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

Science is a winner-take-all profession in which only few contributions get excessive attention and the large majority of papers_new remains receives scant or no attention. This so-called ‘waste’ together with all the competitive strategies of scientists seeking attention is part and parcel of any creative profession and not a worrisome fact as the price society pays for human ingenuity is extremely small: 0.0006 percent of world income goes into the publication of scientific research. The more worrisome features of competition in academic economics reveal themselves not through ordinary citation or publication statistics or competitive attention seeking strategies. The badly designed use of market principles in which citations and publications have become the sole measuring rod of scientific ‘productivity’ deserve more attention instead of the excessive focus of attention on uncitedness as such.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20050005
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/05005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hendrik P. van Dalen, 1999. "The Golden Age of Nobel Economists," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 43(2), pages 19-35, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Dominitz, Jeff & Lee Hansen, W., 1999. "Graduate training and the early career productivity of Ph.D. economists," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 65-77, February.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:64:y:2005:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-005-0248-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. van Ours, J.C. & Ridder, G., 1999. "Fast track or Failure : A Study of the Completion Rates of Graduate Students in Economics," Discussion Paper 1999-118, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. 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.
    7. Scherer, F. M. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2000. "Technology policy for a world of skew-distributed outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 559-566, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1992. "The Young Economist's Guide to Professional Etiquette," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 169-179, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic science; public good; citations; wasteful competition;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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